The Facts: Newton was the Patriots' best quarterback through the first week of training camp. He was more accurate and sure of himself at the line. He barked protection calls and lofted bombs. His arm consistently looked a touch stronger, firing passes into tight windows and downfield. OC Josh McDaniels explained the change seen in his starting quarterback Wednesday after practice. "He just knows much more about we're doing. It's a lot less new learning everyday, more repetition of things he already understands. ... Things slow down. Things make more sense," McDaniels said. There were things I was telling him to do last year that he didn't quite understand, but I was telling him, 'Hey, do it this way. Try and do it that way. Make him the Mike, whatever.' He was trying to do everything I said."
Diehards Line: McDaniels continued: "Now, he actually understands the why on most things. That is really the goal for the quarterbacks -- when you're out there trying to read defenses on a play-to-play basis, if you don't understand why we're doing something or why you're supposed to make the protection slide here or there, it's a tough position to play. The game has slowed down for him. The offense makes a lot of sense. Like I said, there's a lot less new learning for him. ..." As Profootballtalk.com suggested, though the Patriots drafted Mac Jones with the 15th overall pick, Newton is still slated to be the team's QB1 until Jones outperforms him. With the knowledge and experience in the system, Newton may hold off Jones to open the season. But he may or may not continue in that starting spot for long if Jones makes enough progress.