Perry: Newton AND Stidham? Belichick won't rule out platoon

Patriots QBs Cam Newton & Jarrett Stidham at training camp
AP Photos

FOXBORO — Don’t count Bill Belichick among those who believe in the old football adage, “If you think you have two quarterbacks, you really have none.”

On a WebEx call with reporters Wednesday, he didn’t rule out the possibility of a quarterback platoon in New England. 

“I always say I’ll do what’s best for the team, what gives us the best chance to win,” Belichick said. “Whatever that is, I would certainly consider that. If it’s run unbalanced line or double unbalanced line or 23 personnel, whatever it is. If it helps us win, I would consider anything.”

There’s not a long list of successful quarterback platoons in the modern era, but the Patriots have been open to myriad possibilities over the years. They’ve run a spread offense, a two tight end offense and a two-back offense. 

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Could they really be a two quarterback offense with Jarrett Stidham and Cam Newton bringing their own unique skill sets to the table? 

Josh McDaniels does have experience using two quarterbacks. As the head coach in Denver in 2010, he utilized both Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow. The work given to Tebow, though, was limited to a certain package of plays that highlighted Tebow’s running ability before McDaniels was fired mid-season.

Belichick and McDaniels have split quarterback reps fairly evenly early in Patriots training camp this year. Belichick indicated Wednesday that the team is still in the “teaching” phase of the offseason, which is typically how he describes spring workouts. Training camp is time for the “competition” phase of the offseason, Belichick often says, but this truncated workout schedule has obviously forced teams across the league to veer from the norm. 


Eventually, Belichick explained, the quarterback reps will not be evenly divided between Stidham, Newton and Brian Hoyer. 

“Obviously there’s some point where that’s going to happen,” he said. “But right now we want to give everybody an opportunity to work in, get the basics, and we’re really doing that at all the positions. Everybody’s rotating through and we’re trying to give everybody an opportunity to run the basic plays, get the basic fundamentals down. 

“Of course at some point we’ll have to not equalize the reps. That’s obvious. But we’re not there now.”

The question is, when the reps are no longer equalized, will it be one quarterback who gets the bulk of the work or two?

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