By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Less than 24 hours after a franchise-altering decision, Bill Belichick spoke to the media. He didn’t say too much about his decision to go with Mac Jones over Cam Newton at quarterback, but he provided enough insight to help explain the move.
“First of all, he’s had a high level of production. But I feel like he’s been able to show an ability to do things the way we want them done at a productive level,” Belichick said of Jones. “So he’s young, I’m sure he’ll continue to learn and grow. We’ll see where that goes. That’s why we drafted him. I think he’s come in and performed at a level that supports that.”
The Patriots made the big move on Tuesday morning, releasing the veteran Newton, thereby endorsing the work of the rookie Jones. Despite Newton starting all three preseason games, Jones ended up logging much more game action this summer. The rookie’s work in those games, on the practice field, and in the facility has impressed everyone in the organization in a short amount of time.
Belichick was asked why the Patriots released Newton, instead of keeping him in a backup role.
“I’m not gonna go through all the different things with any player on that,” Belichick said.”So we’ll just leave it the way it is and go from there.”
Belichick resisted the notion that Newton’s vaccination status impacted the team’s decision, but didn’t get into details on why the team moved on from the quarterback.
“That’s our decision. We’ve had weeks of meetings on all players. So it’d be impossible to rehash everything that happened at that position or any other position,” he said. “Ultimately there are a lot of factors involved and we made our decision.”
As for Jones, outside of the one comment, Belichick was generally tight-lipped when asked about what the rookie has done to earn the job.
“I’m not going to go into details of decisions and the timing and all that. I mean, we’d be here forever,” Belichick said. “It’s a process. It was a very competitive situation at that position, and both players took pretty close to an equal number of repetitions in total, between practice, games, going all the way back to the spring. That’s what it was.”