Perry: Time for a QB change? Belichick leaves the door open


The Patriots haven't been in the end zone in two weeks. They haven't scored with Cam Newton behind center since the third quarter of their 45-0 drubbing of the Chargers in Week 13.

Naturally, there are some questions about whether or not the team should be open to a change at the quarterback spot.

Bill Belichick was asked Monday morning if he envisioned giving younger players a longer look, to get them some reps with next season in mind now that this year's club has been eliminated from postseason contention.

"We can evaluate what the opportunities are," he said. "We're still going to prepare and try to play as well as we can Monday night. But we'll see how that all shakes out. It could be a possibility in certain situations."

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Situations like the quarterback situation? Could Jarrett Stidham be the team's starter for next Monday night's game against the Bills?

"The same question you just asked," Belichick said, "so we'll see."

That's hardly the open-and-shut type of answer Belichick has provided before about whether or not Newton was the team's top choice at quarterback. When he was asked that question following a loss to the Rams in Week 14, he said, "Great question. Really glad you asked that. Cam's our quarterback."

Belichick said Monday there was no timetable this week on a decision to be made at the quarterback position.


"We haven't had any timeframe on that," he said. "So I don't really see it going that way. We'll go through our normal weekly process and make the decisions that we feel are best for the game in everything."

Newton passed for 209 yards while going 17-for-27 on Sunday afternoon in Miami (a 7.7 yards per attempt average). It was the most passing yardage he's piled up since a Week 11 loss to the Texans when he threw for 365. 

But the Patriots made it into the red zone just once against the Dolphins, they went 2-for-9 on third down, and Newton was sacked three times -- including once on fourth down late in the fourth quarter to put the final nail in the team's chances at the playoffs.

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Asked what he's seen from Newton that would make him the choice for the Patriots these last two weeks, if that ends up being the route Belichick chooses, the coach pivoted.

"Really, we have a lot of team questions we need to answer," he said. "I think that will be the overriding thing. We'll talk about that today, tomorrow. We have an extra day this week and look at things starting from a bigger-picture standpoint.

"Obviously haven't played the run well the last two weeks and haven't been able to score a touchdown the last two weeks. I don't think this is about any one individual."