Bill Belichick declines to name starting QB
New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Belichick declines to name starting QB

With NFL training camps in full swing, questions surrounding whom the New England Patriots tap as their starting quarterback have reached new heights.

Those questions clearly aren't going to be answered anytime soon. Head coach Bill Belichick gave no indication on Tuesday whether Cam Newton or Mac Jones will be under center in Week 1.

"Every one of us has to go out and establish our level of performance in whatever our role or capacity is,” Belichick told reporters with his usual press conference demeanor. "We’ve done some things in the spring, but this is really the start of football season in terms of the team-building part in training camp. So we all have a lot of work to do, that includes all of us. So, until we go out and do anything, it's pretty much a clean slate."

Belichick's veiled comments — although very much expected — are a stark contrast to Newton's offseason commentary. Newton is eager to bounce back from a miserable first campaign with New England and has been putting in work to not lose the starting job.

"I know I have to be better," Newton told ESPN, via the Boston Herald. "I know I have to be accurate. I know I have to work on the sort of subtleties this offense provides and making the necessary adjustments... God has blessed me with a specific talent and I’m happy to have the skill set this far in my career, to have the opportunity to play. So yeah, make the most of each and every opportunity, no matter how it comes and what it is."

As Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk points out, the quarterback competition is Newton's to lose. Newton revealed his throwing shoulder was an issue in 2020, so his health could be a huge factor even if he has a better grasp on the mechanics of the Patriots offense than he did last season. 

Then again, even with the hype surrounding Jones, there is no guarantee he will emerge as an elite NFL-caliber QB in his rookie season.

For now, the competition over that QB1 spot in Foxborough is still alive and well. 

Chelena Goldman grew up on a street where the boys played street hockey and yelling at baseball and football over the radio was a standard -- making life as a sports geek the perfect fit. She believes in dominance on the blue line, good red wine, and the theory that you can never be too overdressed for any occasion. You can find her gabbing away on Twitter at @ChelenaGoldman.

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