WATCH: Mac Jones Competes with Cam Newton in Patriots’ Practice
With less than two months until the NFL preseason starts, quarterback battles are occurring across the league. One of the most notable features a former Alabama quarterback up in New England. On Monday, footage was released of national championship-winning quarterback Mac Jones going head-to-head with former NFL MVP Cam Newton, who coincidentally led the Auburn Tigers to a national championship.
Newton, who has been with the Patriots since last season, has had a tumultuous career. After he was drafted in 2011 by the Carolina Panthers, he took the league by storm with his exuberant personality and fashion and his explosive style of play. While he was in Charlotte, Newton was a crucial part of the 2015 15-1 Panthers team that fell to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50.
While Newton might have many accolades and trophies under his belt, his title of “QB1” is now under fire in Foxborough.
While carrying the burden of injuries and a different offense with the Patriots, compared to Carolina, Newton struggled in 2020. The Patriots finished 7-9 and missed the playoffs - their first season under .500 since 2000.
Enter Mac Jones - the NFL rookie from Alabama.
Crimson Tide fans across the state got excited when Bill Belichick drafted the Jacksonville native in hope of a Tua Tagovailoa-led Miami Dolphins matchup with a Jones-led Patriots team.
Still, Jones looked impressive in the video posted by NBC Sports Boston.
Jones was completing redzone passes to receivers in the endzone, despite the pouring rain. Meanwhile, Newton’s receivers were watching overthrown passes soar over their heads and dropping easy catches.
It is common practice during the NFL Preseason to rotate through quarterbacks and start rookies, so Alabama fans will likely see Jones receive some in-game reps, as well as former Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer.
The Patriots will be hosting Tua and the Dolphins to start the season on Sunday, September 12. By then, it should be clearer whether Belichick will change the narrative and start the rookie Jones or stick to his guns and start the veteran Newton.
Regardless, Alabama fans will eventually be seeing a division that features young Alabama talent at quarterback.
For more from Bryant Horn, visit TIDE1009.com or listen to his radio program, Hop on with Horn on Wednesday nights from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on 100.9. Follow him on Twitter: @Bryant_Horn for his professional account and @HopOnWithHorn for the show page.