Long-time New England Patriots left tackle Matt Light recently appeared on NFL Network to promote the work he is doing with his foundation. He also spoke about his former team, in particular the upcoming training camp competition for the starting quarterback role.
Incumbent Cam Newton will go up against first-round rookie Mac Jones. Backup options Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer are also on the roster.
“It’s pretty simple. When you’re in the system that Bill [Belichick] has designed — and all those coaches are on the same page, and it doesn’t take long for the players to understand what the expectations are and how things go — whoever puts in the most work, whoever earns the right, is going to be the one playing,” Light said.
“The politics? Yeah, they come into play every now and then. But for the Patriots it really is how you deliver it on the field, in real time. Not just in practice, but in the locker room, the weight room and all that stuff.”
Last year, Newton was that guy for the Patriots. Despite arriving late as an unrestricted free agent and not having the benefit of a normal offseason due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the former league MVP beat out Stidham and Hoyer and went on to start 15 of New England’s 16 games.
Learning the ins and outs of the system on the fly, however, Newton struggled and finished as one of the statistically worst passers in the league. In turn, the Patriots invested the 15th overall selection in this year’s draft in Alabama’s Mac Jones.
Now, the two are projected as the frontrunners in the competition.
“Whoever goes out and proves to Bill Belichick that they’re going to be the starter, they’re going to be the starter,” Light said. “And I don’t see him flip-flopping around, and going back and forth like you see in other organizations. He’s going to make a decision and he’s going to roll with it.”
The Patriots will open their training camp next week, with the first practice taking place on July 28.