New England Patriots

Jun 15, 2021; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (50) participates in drills during the New England Patriots mini camp at the New England Patriots practice complex. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Last time Bill Belichick addressed the Patriots’ quarterback situation, it was following the first round of the NFL Draft and the team’s selection of Alabama quarterback Mac Jones. “Cam [Newton]’s our quarterback,” Belichick said at the time. “Whatever position, whatever time Jarrett [Stidham] or Mac [Jones] are ready to challenge and compete [Brian Hoyer was still a free agent], then we’ll see how that goes. But right now, Mac, he’s just got a lot of learning in front of him.”

It appears Jones has learned quickly. On Tuesday, Belichick was asked if there will be an ‘open competition’ for the Patriots’ starting quarterback job in training camp, and the head coach didn’t dismiss the notion.

“Every one of us has to go out and establish our level of performance and whatever our role or capacity is,” Belichick replied. “We’ve done some things in the spring, but this is really the start of the football season in terms of the team building part in training camp. We all have a lot of work to do. Until we go out and do anything, it’s pretty much a clean slate.”

Asked as a follow up if that sentiment includes the quarterbacks, Belichick replied it is “including the players and all the coaches.”

While that’s not a ‘yes,’ it’s also not the definitive ‘no’ Belichick had been giving last season when asked about Newton’s standing as the team’s starting quarterback. The competition – open or not – will begin on Wednesday when the team has their first training camp practice.

MORE: Non-QB position battles at Patriots training camp

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.