There’s growing speculation around the NFL that the New England Patriots will have a quarterback competition on their hands once training camp rolls around.
Though Cam Newton was seemingly re-signed to start for another season, or until 2021 first-round pick Mac Jones is ready to take over, it seems like the Alabama product has a chance of becoming the starter sooner than expected.
We’d argue it’d be too soon to thrust Jones into that role just months after he was drafted, especially when you have Newton, who’ll have another offseason to get fully acclimated to the playbook and already has the respect of the locker room, but what do we know?
You know who does know a thing or two about what it takes to be the Patriots starting quarterback? Julian Edelman. During an appearance on Michael Irvin’s “podcast this week, the now-retired wide receiver offered up a motivational warning message to Jones.
Patriots fans will love Julian Edelman’s message to Mac Jones.
Though Jones was immaculate in his lone season as Alabama’s starter last year, things are going to be drastically different in the NFL. While every rookie quarterback is facing pressure to perform, being drafted by the Patriots with the hope that you’ll become Tom Brady’s long-term successor is an entirely different magnitude of expectations.
“He needs to have that eye,” Edelman told Irvin. “He needs to have that confidence. … What are you going to do? This kid, it’s not easy playing in New England, especially after Tom Brady, if he gets the opportunity and beats out the other guy. This ain’t going to be easy.
“This town is tough. This town is mean. This town is blue-collar. Boston people, the New England people, they want winning. They’re used to that in all sports. The kid’s going to have a lot of pressure.”
If there’s anyone who understands the pressure that comes with being the Patriots’ starting quarterback, it’s Edelman, so we really hope Jones takes this messages to heart. It might seem like the former seventh-round pick is putting a ton of pressure on Jones’ shoulders, but he’s simply trying to inform him that he’s going to have to work for everything he earns.
The Patriots obviously invested a lot in Jones. After all, he’s the first quarterback Bill Belichick has ever drafted in the first round throughout his coaching career. That includes his five-year stint with the Browns before he joined New England at the turn of the century.
When you take that into consideration, plus that the fact that Jones will be attempting to fill Brady’s enormous shoes, the pressure will be on him to perform from Day 1. That’s really all Edelman was trying to say here.
If you quarterback the Patriots, you’re expected to win. That’s the bottom line.