All eyes are on the quarterback competition at New England Patriots training camp, and through three days rookie Mac Jones has impressed.
Jones sat behind some excellent quarterbacks at Alabama, including Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa. When Jones finally got an opportunity to start last season he took full advantage of it. He threw for 4,500 yards with 41 touchdowns and four interceptions while leading the Crimson Tide to a national championship.
What has Jones learned from his Alabama days about quarterback competition?
“I think it just goes back to kind of focusing on yourself," Jones said after Thursday's training camp practice at Gillette Stadium.
"When you’re in there, you got to do what you’re supposed to do as a quarterback. So if they present something, you have to fix the problem and then get the ball to the playmakers and do your job. It really doesn’t have to do with other people as much as playing your own game, you know, supporting your teammates when they score, support the other quarterbacks when they make a good play. That’s pretty much it. You can’t overcomplicate it too much.”
Jones' main competition for the starting job is Cam Newton. The former league MVP struggled in 2020 when he started 15 of the Patriots' 16 regular season games. But after a full year in the Patriots' system and a normal offseason in 2021, Newton is better prepared for success.
Newton has been complimentary of Jones since the Patriots drafted the Alabama product. On Friday, he said Jones was "as cool as the other side of the pillow."
Jones appreciates the support Newton has provided him early in his pro career.
“That’s a nice compliment. I’d say the same about Cam," Jones said. "Obviously, with any relationship and meeting someone new, regardless of position or if he’s a teammate or not, you have to form the bond and the trust.
"He’s been a great teammate. He’s helped me and made a lot of fun. Your first couple practices as a rookie are going to be hard, so he just tries to stay positive with me. That’s just who Cam is. Hopefully, I can learn from him and try to be like him in some ways and have fun with it. We’re going to grow together, and we’re going to help each other win games, hopefully."