Rob Ninkovich: Mac Jones Was Helping Cam Newton Learn the Patriots Playbook

Kyle Koster
Kathryn Riley/Getty Images

Mac Jones is the man in New England for several reasons. The rookie quarterback has done nothing but impress everyone in the organization with his immediate development and embrace of leadership. His long-term and perhaps short-term ceiling is higher than post-injury Cam Newton and Jones' willingness to be vaccinated translates into a greater chance of availability on gameday.

Former Patriot Rob Ninkovich revealed yet another part of the calculus that went into the organizational decision-making during The Dan and Ninko Show last week and it's quite alarming for anyone hoping to see Cam Newton again this season. Apparently, Jones was helping Newton learn the playbook and not the other way around.

"Mac was having less mental errors and a better understanding of the offense," Ninkovich revealed.

Newton did not run either the two-minute or hurry-up offense during his preseason reps, which could be merely a coincidence or evidence that even at this late stage, last year's starter wasn't ready for the exam.

If true, it's pretty wild. Josh McDaniels was New England's offensive coordinator last season and is still in the role. Surely there are some new wrinkles planned, but the DNA will remain largely the same. And Newton was the person tasked with conducting the scheme for a full season before entering this preseason as the perceived favorite to win the competition.