Was Mac Jones teaching Cam Newton the Patriots’ playbook?
from Chelena Goldman, with YardBarker.com/www.yardbarker.com
When it came to the New England Patriots’ preseason battle to be QB1, it appeared early on that Cam Newton had the job on lock. But is it possible rookie quarterback Mac Jones was the one on the fast track to getting the starting job?
In an interview this week, former Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich claimed Jones was actually helping Newton learn the team’s offense during the preseason.
“From everything that I understand now, Mac was basically helping Cam learn the playbook,” Ninkovich said, via WEEI.com. “He was having (fewer) mental errors in having a better understanding of the offense. We didn’t see Cam run any two-minute. We didn’t see him run any no-huddle.”
CBS Sports took a closer look at Ninkovich’s comments and pointed out the Pats were, in fact, “deploying the hurry-up at various points and seeing what the No. 15 overall pick can do within a two-minute drill prior to halftime on numerous occasions.” Newton, despite being the 2020 starter, didn’t run the no-huddle once.
“You have to run no-huddle,” Ninkovich continued. “That’s vital.”
When the Patriots surprisingly cut Newton last week, there was speculation his COVID debacle was at the root of things. But if Jones really is that quick of a study, especially with a complex playbook, it is possible he was the early front-runner to start under center all along.
Jones completed 36-of-52 passes for 389 yards and one touchdown during preseason play while Newton completed 14-of-21 for 162 yards, one score and an interception.