New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is optimistic that quaterback Cam Newton will have a much better season in 2021. After spending his entire career with the Carolina Panthers, 32-year-old Newton signed with the Patriots in the 2020 offseason.
Newton didn't impress in his first season at Foxborough as the Patriots finished the season with a 7-9 record and missed out on the playoffs. "When he got here, that was a unique situation having really no experience and exposure to our system prior to training camp starting.
I honestly can't remember another time in my career where we've had a player that has done that. So it was a unique scenario," McDaniels said Thursday in his first public remarks of the offseason, per ESPN. "He worked his butt off last year to do it, and then he came back certainly this year at a much different position.
He has a different grasp of the offense, a different understanding of the terminology. Now we're working on refining the precision, the details."
Newton and Mac Jones lead the Patriots' quarterback room
The Patriots used their No.
15 pick to draft Mac Jones out of Alabama. "He won a lot of games in the last year-plus at Alabama," McDaniels said of Jones. "He played in some big games, some pressure situations. He takes care of the football.
He's demonstrated an ability to function at a pretty high level in their system and offense, with their terminology. He competed in a league that is widely regarded as one of the top conferences, if not the top conference, in all of college football."
"We've got four great guys in the room," McDaniels said. "To be able to give them all opportunities this spring is invaluable, and it is a great opportunity for us to make progress in that room collectively to prepare them to compete in August."
Elsewhere, quarterback Tyrod Taylor is hoping to be the Houston Texans' starting quarterback in 2021. "Of course, yes, Deshaun played at a very high level," said Taylor when asked about the pressure of replacing Deshaun Watson, who has been sued by 22 women alleging sexual assault and inappropriate behavior.
"He's played at a very high level throughout his career. I've been a fan of his and I know him personally. "But the opportunity to be able to start here is something that I look forward to."