The New England Patriots quarterback battle between Mac Jones and Cam Newton was widely publicized. With Newton having a year of experience in the system, he was the veteran of the pair. However, Mac Jones was the one who would ultimately win the battle.
Former New England Patriots defensive end Rob Ninkovich revealed additional info about the two quarterbacks on his Tik Tok account on Thursday.
Rob Ninkovich's sources say says Mac Jones taught Cam Newton the playbook
Ninkovich revealed this information on his Tik Tok, "The Dan and Ninko Show". He said he has inside sources in the building that give him a behind-the-scenes look. Ninkovich was a member of the Patriots for eight years and won two Super Bowls with them.
"I got some inside sources now but I won’t say names. I won’t say names but from actual sources inside the building. From everything I understand now, Mac was basically helping Cam learn the playbook."
Mac Jones benefited from five days of first-team reps, while Newton was away from the team due to a "misunderstanding" about COVID-19 testing protocols. Up until that point, it was a 50-50 guess as to which quarterback would be the week one starter. Newton started 15 games for Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels in 2020. So it's surprising to hear that Mac Jones, a rookie, was helping Newton learn the offense that Newton ran.
Ninkovich says Mac Jones was having fewer mental errors than Cam Newton
Belichick is a head coach who values mental preparation as much as he does physical preparation. Since Ninkovich said Jones was making fewer mental errors, that's a telling sign of what Belichick is valuing in his players.
"Mac was having less M.E’s, mental errors. That's what an M.E is in football, mental error. He was having less mental errors. He was having a better understanding of the offense. We didn’t see Cam run any two-minute, we didn’t see Cam run any no huddle. You have to run no huddle, that's vital."
Learning that Newton wasn't running any no huddles or two-minute drills is telling. Mac Jones has been given the starting job, and Newton is now looking for a job elsewhere. In training camp, reporters and teammates alike were raving about how Jones performed in two-minute drills. At the beginning of August, reporters were raving about how surgically he operated.
Jones will start his first NFL game in week one against a division rival, the Miami Dolphins.