BOSTON (CBS) — Since the end of October, Bill Belichick has made it very clear that he’s made up his mind on Cam Newton being the starting quarterback of the New England Patriots. With two weeks to play and no shot at making the playoffs, that’s not changing.

The questions, though, persist. Newton has not been the Patriots’ biggest problem, but he also hasn’t been much of a solution.

So, with the Patriots formally eliminated from the playoff race, Belichick was asked by ESPN’s Mike Reiss if Newton will remain the starting quarterback going forward.

The exchange that followed was not overly pleasant.

MR: Hey Bill, with this being the first practice of the week and you guys going through your meetings the last couple of days, are you sticking with Cam at quarterback?

BB: Yeah. Mike, we’re not answering that question every day. We’ve been through this for a month.

MR: Totally respect that. I think just with the circumstances changing over the last couple of days with the playoffs, that’s why I asked. And —

BB: How about if I let you know if we’re going to make a change?

MR: That sounds good to me. Is it partly due to competitive reasons that you don’t want to let the Bills know?

BB: Any questions on Buffalo, Mike?

MR: Good, thanks, Bill.

It was a rough start, but it didn’t derail the press conference. The Boston Globe’s Ben Volin informed Bill in the next question that he did have some questions about Buffalo, leading to a smile and a reply of “good!” from the head coach. Belichick then spoke to the media for about 15 minutes.

The exchange was the second of its kind between Belichick and Reiss, as Belichick sarcastically said, “Great question, Mike. Really, I’m glad you asked that” after Reiss asked about Cam’s spot as the starter immediately after the team’s 24-3 loss to the Rams.

It was also the second of its kind this week, as Belichick showed little patience when asked about Newton as his starting quarterback on WEEI on Monday.

The Patriots will host the AFC East-champion Bills on Monday night, and based on everything Belichick’s said for quite some time now, Cam Newton will be under center to start the game.

CBSBoston.com Staff