The Patriots made their quarterback call this week when they released Cam Newton and put rookie Mac Jones on track to start against the Dolphins in Week One of the 2021 season.
While the team regularly referred to Newton as the starter this offseason, it wasn’t a totally unexpected outcome. Jones was drafted in the first round and his preseason work showed that he was adept at doing the kinds of things the Patriots want to do on offense. He’ll have to continue to do it in the regular season, but wide receiver Kendrick Bourne doesn’t think that will be a problem.
“Yeah, for anybody, you get named the starter, that’s a different kind of urgency,” Bourne said, via Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal. “You can’t mess up. The only way is down. For any starter, I think you feel that pressure, but he was built for it since [Alabama]. I think he’s more ready than anybody really knows.”
In a little more than a week, Jones will get to show just how ready he is for life as an NFL quarterback. If Bourne’s assessment proves correct, there’s a good chance we’ll see the Patriots back in the playoffs after last year’s hiatus.