Patriots

Patriots veterans react to Cam Newton’s release, Mac Jones starting at QB

David Andrews and James White spoke with reporters Tuesday morning after the resolution of the Patriots' quarterback competition.

Patriots Mac Jones Cam Newton
Mac Jones and Cam Newton warm up against Washington. Jim Davis/Globe Staff
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Bill Belichick had an interesting response to a question Monday morning about whether delaying the quarterback decision as long as possible could be a competitive advantage with the Miami Dolphins waiting in Week 1.

“Wouldn’t it be best for the team to know what the situation is at certain positions?”

After weeks of delay, Belichick gave his team, and the league, the long-awaited answer to the quarterback riddle, reportedly releasing Cam Newton and clearing the way for Mac Jones to start for the Patriots.

Now, the Patriots offense, including center David Andrews and running back James White, will have time to get fully used to working with the rookie after working most of spring practice and training camp with Newton.

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“You never know what’s going to happen,” White said of Newton’s release. “Cam did his best job for us and competed extremely hard. Obviously, it’s unfortunate to see him go, but he’s a good football player. Hope he gets another opportunity to land on his feet.”

Andrews similarly wished Newton well on his way out of New England, saying roster cutdowns are “just a tough day in this business…and unfortunately it’s just part of it.”

But White in particular offered a glowing review of Jones and his readiness to start for the Patriots this season, saying he knew Jones would be a good player almost immediately.

“You can tell he has what it takes from the first practice with him,” the running back said. “He has his high expectations for himself. When he comes to the huddle, he wants to control the huddle and wants everyone to believe in him.”

“Mac’s done a great job. He’s come in and worked extremely hard,” Andrews said of the young quarterback, echoing comments Belichick and others have made about his work ethic. “He’s done a good job being vocal at times, making mistakes and keeps moving forward, that’s part of it.”

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Jones’s abilities as a passer in the Patriots offense as a rookie quarterback have drawn praise from both offensive and defensive players on the team. As such, it’s no surprise to see the move well-received in the locker room.

Now comes two weeks of work with the Andrews, White and the rest of the main offensive contributors to prepare for what Brian Flores and the Miami Dolphins will throw at the first-round pick Week 1.

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