FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Saturday that Cam Newton is the team's starting quarterback -- repeating what he had said in April when the team drafted Mac Jones in the first round -- but also left open the possibility that things could change if Newton struggles in training camp.
"We'll take a look at the whole situation," Belichick said. "I don't think you want to evaluate players at any position off one or two plays, or maybe a day. So from a consistency standpoint, that's always important. And obviously production. So hopefully those things will be good, and I'm sure it will be a hard decision.
"We'll see how it goes. Let them play, and [we'll] try to do what we feel like is best for the team based on their performance."
When asked if he has an ideal time frame for naming a starter to get ready for the regular season, Belichick seemed to reject the premise of the question.
"No," he answered. "I mean, Cam's our starting quarterback. I think I've said that."
In essence, Belichick seemed to be saying that as long as Newton doesn't have a notable drop-off, he'll be under center when the team hosts the Miami Dolphins in the regular-season opener Sept. 12. That relates to his remarks from the start of training camp when he said all players, including the quarterbacks, have a clean slate and have to earn their spot.
"That's right, everyone does start from scratch. That goes for a lot of other players as well that I'm sure in your mind, you think they are starters, and maybe they are starters and they probably will be starters, but they all have to reestablish their positions," he said Saturday. "That's across the board for the whole team. That doesn't just pertain to one person or position."
Through four training camp practices, Newton has taken all of the top repetitions, followed by Jones.
Newton said Friday that he views it as a competition.
"Ever since I've been here, there's been a quarterback competition," he said. "I think, in essence, that's the underlying Patriot Way. Every position has a competition there, and quarterback is no different."