BOSTON (CBS) — Tuesday was a magnificent day for Cam Newton in full pads on the practice field. Wednesday, not so much.

For Mac Jones, Wednesday wasn’t perfect, but it was nevertheless a step forward for the rookie QB.

And so continues the back-and-forth seesawing that is the Patriots’ quarterback position this summer.

After an unquestionably strong showing on Tuesday, Newton was not sharp when team drills began on Wednesday. The Patriots were in shells — shoulder pads and helmets — as opposed to full pads.

 

One of Newton’s best completions could have been another interception. Another completion required tremendous effort by the receiver.

Jones’ day would be considered more up-and-down, as he made some good plays and a handful of not-so-good plays.

Jones got in some extra work after the practice, too.

After practice, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels spoke about Newton.

“He just knows much more about what we’re doing,” McDaniels said. “It’s less new learning and more repetition of things he already understands. That would be true for any player or coach in the second year in our system. … There were things I would tell him to do last year that he wouldn’t quite understand, and he was trying to do everything I said. Now he understands the why on most things and that’s the goal for the quarterback. … If you don’t understand why we’re doing something or why you’re supposed to do something, it’s a difficult position to play.”

Obviously, there’s still a long way to go for both quarterbacks in this offense. And Wednesday’s swing away from Newton won’t be the last shift in the competition under center.

But with a week to go before the preseason opener, there’s still quite a bit of work to do at the most important position on the field.

CBSBoston.com Staff