Bill Belichick: Cam Newton’s our starter, but everyone has to reestablish their positions

A day after the Patriots drafted Mac Jones in the first round, their head coach Bill Belichick said that Cam Newton is “our quarterback” and that the team would see if Jones or Jarrett Stidham would challenge him for that role.

Back surgery has taken Stidham out of the running for the job and Jones hasn’t done anything to change Belichick’s mind about the pecking order. He was asked at a Saturday press conference about the timeline for naming a starter and responded by calling Newton “our starting quarterback.”

In a follow-up question, a reporter asked how that fit with Belichick’s statement this week that everyone is starting from scratch in training camp.

“Yeah, that’s right everyone does start from scratch,” Belichick said. “Again, we all have to reestablish ourselves and that goes for a lot of other players that you could name as well that I’m sure in your mind you think they are starters, and maybe they are starters and they probably will be starters, but they all have to reestablish their positions. That’s across the board for the whole team. That doesn’t just pertain to one person or position.”

Newton has plenty of practice time and three preseason games to reestablish himself as the starter in New England. If he can, Jones will start his NFL career on the bench.