Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has said that Cam Newton is the team’s starting quarterback — at least until someone beats him out.
But based on the way the reps have been distributed during training camp practices, it certainly seems like New England is running a quarterback competition.
According to Mark Daniels of The Providence Journal, Newton had nine passing attempts during Thursday’s practice with six coming in team drills. Rookie Mac Jones had 17 passing attempts with 12 in team drills. On Wednesday, Newton had 13 total while Jones had 23.
Part of the reason for the discrepancy could be Jones’ need to learn the offense and adjust to the league, while Newton is entering his 11th season and second with New England.
Either way, Newton said he’s not concerned about it.
“I don’t get involved in the reps. I just do what I’m asked and I just go from there,” Newton said, via Daniels. “As far as trying to maximize as much as I possibly can when I’m in there, that’s the only thing I can control and that’s what I will continue to do.”
Newton also noted that he wants to continue getting better through the rest of camp, working with his teammates in that process. Though there are a lot of factors — including rain at Thursday’s practice — you still have to play through them.
“[B]eing a signal-caller you just gotta be able to deliver and do your job,” Newton said. “That process will take time. It’s just a day-to-day thing. It’s going to take the repetitiveness from the side little work deals after practice, before practice that we can see what each other is seeing and talk about it more normal, rather than having a play happen and it not go to our liking, then we have to re-do it again. Hopefully those kinks will be ironed out, and that’s what I’m expecting.”