Cam Newton is expected to replace Tom Brady as the starting quarterback for the New England Patriots this season, but Brian Hoyer thinks it’s not a foregone conclusion. According to Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk, the veteran journeyman talked to the media on Monday and said Newton’s presence made the QB competition more stout. He added that this also gives some of the reserves more hope they might be able to take the job.
Alper wrote that the path for the men who are expected to be the backups for the Patriots got a bit more complicated in the last few months when Newton was brought in as he arrived relatively late in the offseason.
Before his signing, NFL analysts believed head coach Bill Belichick was going to go with one of the quarterbacks who were already on the roster after Brady departed. That meant a potential training camp showdown between Hoyer, second-year player Jarrett Stidham and several undrafted signees at the position. Depending on who fans listened to, it was an open question as to who would ultimately win the job.
Then, Newton was signed to a very team-friendly contract and most around the league figured the competition had ended before it really began. However, some in the Pats’ camp believe that may not be the case.
“Look, I think coach [Bill] Belichick says every position is a competition no matter what it is every year,” Hoyer said on WEEI. “So I think for me, I know going in that I am always going to compete like I am trying to be the starting quarterback. I did that when Tom was here. I know that was never going to happen because of who he was, but that pushed me to be better. Adding another great quarterback like Cam to the room, it only makes us that much more competitive and that is going to bring out the best in all of us.”
Alper pointed out that the veteran signal-caller thought the starting role was decided when Brady was around but hinted that things changed this offseason.
Tyler Sullivan of CBS Sports reported that Belichick added a bit of fuel to the fire of there being a battle at the position when he spoke to the media earlier this week. When he was asked who had the inside track, he praised all three competitors.
Belichick added they were all working very hard and he was still getting comfortable with Newton as of Monday, which was when the Patriots started padded practice.