The clues were there all along that Mac Jones was going to supplant Cam Newton as the starting quarterback of the New England Patriots.
On a brand new episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast, Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry retrace their steps and look for the signs that Bill Belichick was going to make this move all along.
Curran admits that initially, he thought that the Patriots already had Mac Jones on their roster in Jarrett Stidham. What changed?
"What I've seen since mini-camp: proficiency, accuracy, decision-making, poise, the ability to rebound from bad days, and the Patriots coaching staff throwing more and more at him," Curran said.
Curran and Perry discuss other reasons they believe New England moved on from Newton after one disappointing season, including his vaccination status, Jones' poise, physical build and health and the play of the two quarterbacks this summer.
"They got a glimpse at just how tenuous Cam Newton's availability was," Curran said, referring to his five-day absence last week.
Had Newton remained with the team, how would that have looked? Curran and Perry discuss how many wins that could have meant for New England were he named starter, or even how it may have played out if Newton remained as a backup.
Perry believes the Patriots would be a better team with Newton -- if only the game were played on a spreadsheet.
"You take emotions out of it, you take inter-player dynamics out of it, you take the media out of it, yes," Perry argued. "To have that guy as a weapon in the red zone, in short-yardage and use him as a gadget player every so often, yes.
"Are they better though in real life with Cam Newton sitting there on the sidelines every time Mac Jones throws an interception his rookie year?"
Also discussed in this episode: Curran and Perry share their thoughts on Stephon Gilmore opening up the season on the PUP list, the decision to go with undrafted rookie Quinn Nordin over Nick Folk at kicker, and more.