New England Patriots training camp continued Thursday with the second and final joint practice with the New York Giants at Gillette Stadium.
The quarterback competition between Jones and veteran Cam Newton has been the dominant storyline of camp and the preseason so far. Jones has done enough to win the job, showing excellent poise, accuracy and decision-making as a passer.
One of the best opportunities remaining for Newton and Jones to make their case to be under center Week 1 against the Miami Dolphins will be Sunday's preseason finale versus the Giants. How the reps are divided between the two quarterbacks will be fascinating to watch.
Newton started the first two preseason matchups, but Jones has earned an opportunity to begin Sunday's game after a very strong week of practice.
Would Jones be disappointed if he's ultimately not named the Week 1 starter?
"That's beyond my control. I can just control my effort everyday," Jones told reporters after Thursday's practice. "I'm trying, I'm putting in a lot of work and everyone else is, too. At the end of the day, there should no drop off because in the quarterback room -- something (offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels) always talks about is the standard that we play to in New England.
"It doesn't matter if you're first string, second string or third string. When you go in, there's a standard, and I felt like today I definitely could've done better with that, playing up to the standard. Definitely good progress and a lot of reps, so it was fun. But we've got a lot of work to do."
The Patriots don't have a difficult schedule to begin the season. The Dolphins and Jets are two very beatable opponents over the first two weeks. The New Orleans Saints -- New England's Week 3 opponent -- are poised to take a step back with legendary quarterback Drew Brees' retirement. In fact, the Patriots' first nine games feature just two 2020 playoff teams.
So, if the Patriots want Jones to get his feet wet against some mediocre (or worse) opponents, starting him in Week 1 and letting him gain experience right away wouldn't be a bad idea.