As Cam Newton wrote Tuesday, "let the games begin."
New England Patriots training camp is set to begin Wednesday and the obvious No. 1 storyline is the quarterback competition between Newton and first-round QB Mac Jones. Head coach Bill Belichick called the start of camp a "clean slate" when asked about the competition during his Tuesday press conference, leading many to believe the Week 1 starting job is up for grabs.
So, if the competition in camp is close between Newton and Jones, who should begin the season as QB1? Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry discussed on a brand new episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast.
"It's either Cam seizes it, and you can put the kid on ice for a little while and you can run the offense that you don't love and continue to bring him along. Or, you can just say 'OK it's too close to call and I know which way we're gonna go with this offense anyway, get the young fella in there,' Curran said. "
"If it's close, I've continually said it's going to be Cam Newton because Bill doesn't want to toggle back and forth. But maybe, if Cam can't hit the ground running the way he ought to, it's 'Let's get the guy who's going to be the quarterback for the long-term in there.' "
Perry agrees that if the competition is neck and neck during camp, the Patriots should go with the quarterback with the higher ceiling.
"We don't know Mac Jones well enough from a personality perspective to understand how he'd handle it, but everything that we've heard about him, it sounds like he would embrace that. It sounds like he has that mentality that would allow him to not shrink from that kind of responsibility. And so, if they're close, I would go with the guy who's maybe going to be better by the end of the season. That's when you want to be peaking anyway. ... Why would you not take the player that has the potentially steeper curve when it comes to his growth?"
Also discussed in the new episode: Now it’s time for Bill Belichick’s rebuttal to Tom Brady. Is Mac Jones a life preserver for Belichick? Will there be an open competition for starting QB during training camp? And Is the Stephon Gilmore situation heading in the right direction?