Say what you want about the controversies surrounding the New England Patriots, but they have been a model of consistency for about two decades.
They won six Super Bowls out of nine appearances and are consistent playoff contenders.
Tom Brady was a large part of that success as he commanded the Patriots offense with surgical precision.
Meanwhile, Bill Belichick’s system still feels like an encrypted code to the NFL.
He knows what buttons to push and which plays to execute given the circumstances.
Belichick is a no-nonsense mentor that always reminds his players to do their job.
Tony Romo on an NFL on CBS media call: "I'm convinced the Patriots are for real. No one's gonna want to play them." pic.twitter.com/6T9ruGBZwI
— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) September 1, 2021
As they won title after title, rarely did you hear controversies coming from their locker room.
Much like the San Antonio Spurs, they uphold discipline from the players, coaches, and staff.
It’s this principle that made Cam Newton an outlier during his time with the organization.
He successfully led a team with shallow talent to a 7-9 record last season.
His talent is undeniable, and his MVP award will be shining proof that he belongs in the league.
However, it’s just that he was not the piece that will complete the Patriots puzzle.
Varying Schools Of Thought
Cam Newton and Michael Vick represent the new school of football.
They are dual-threats who can punish opponents with their arm and their feet.
Their emergence inspired the league to follow suit.
It does make sense to have a mobile play-caller.
He can take off when the play collapses and turn a potential loss of yardage into a big gain.
Defenses will always play the guessing game because quarterbacks of this type can hurt them in two aspects.
But the Patriots do not abide by this approach.
Their system relies on a decent running game which stems from completing short to intermediate passes.
The Patriots running back room is one of the best in the NFL. 🔥👀 pic.twitter.com/Z4rFwm4kAa
— Pats Buzz (@PatsBuzz) September 1, 2021
Rarely do you see them go for home-run throws because that’s not how they play.
New England prefers the five-yard completion that get the first down instead of the 10-yard gain.
That said, their system calls for a quarterback who is comfortable in the pocket.
If his first option isn’t free, he scans to the field not to run but to find an open man.
It’s not that Newton cannot execute three, five or seven-step drops to let the play develop.
Instead, he’s more comfortable on the move.
That’s why the Patriots chose rookie Mac Jones over him.
The former Alabama quarterback is more of a pocket passer like Brady, and that’s what Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels prefer.
Student Of The Game
Jones’ selection is more than just finding the perfect fit.
Furthermore, he diligently studied the playbook, and it showed during his preseason performances.
It’s like he already knows the plays for years because he finds the open receiver with ease.
He completed 69 percent of his passes for 389 yards and a touchdown throughout three preseason games.
Mac Jones in just the past 344 days:
▫️ Named starter at Alabama
▫️ Most yards of any Bama QB ever
▫️ Won a National Championship
▫️ Drafted No. 15 to the Patriots
▫️ Won starting QB over Cam
▫️ First rookie QB to ever be named starter by Bill Belichick
344 days. That fast. pic.twitter.com/fnYfdFu2kn
— Jordan Moore (@iJordanMoore) September 1, 2021
Meanwhile, Newton struggled during the same period despite having a year of experience with the Patriots system.
It was evident that Jones was the better quarterback, at least throughout those games.
More importantly, he’s the quarterback who can continue to re-establish their contender status after a one-year hiatus.
As for Newton, he’s talented enough to remain in the NFL.
Until then, his future looks uncertain unless another team needs what he can offer.NEXT: Realistic Expectations For Patriots With Mac Jones