Although they’ve had player-organized throwing sessions at points during the offseason, this week’s OTA practices are the first time the Patriots’ quarterbacks and pass catchers are working together in an official capacity. There’s a number of new faces involved, from the big money tight ends to first-round pick Mac Jones.
For the past two decades, the status of the primary quarterback has been relatively clear when practices begin. Even last season, despite some back and forth early, Cam Newton seemed to take command of the role within a week, even though he wasn’t officially announced as the starter until the end of training camp.
This year, things are a little more uncertain. Bill Belichick named Newton the starter immediately after the draft, but the 32-year-old is coming off of a down season, and the team invested heavily in Jones by taking him with the 15th pick.
Through three practices, both are drawing rave reviews from their receivers, with some common points becoming clear between the two.
Kendrick Bourne, who signed with the Patriots back in March, was struck by how Newton controls the tone of the practice. “Energy is amazing, man. A workhorse. He just knows how to keep the game fun. He knows when to turn it on and he knows when to turn it off and stuff like that,” Bourne explained. “Whenever I get down or something, he’s there to pick me up. He’s that kinda guy. And when I do good he’s there too to push me and motivate me at the same time. So he’s just all-around a great teammate.”
Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.