New England Patriots v Philadelphia Eagles
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Through two weeks of preseason action, Cam Newton still has a firm grip on the starting job in New England. The veteran quarterback continues to be backed by the Patriots coaching staff as the Week 1 starter with both Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels noting that he's still atop the depth chart, despite the success of rookie Mac Jones in his exhibition outings. Newton also helped his own cause during Thursday's preseason bout with the Eagles where he completed eight of his nine passes for 103 yards and a touchdown. That performance seems to have cemented his status as QB1 to begin the regular season for the Patriots. 

That said, it does seem like only a matter of time before he gives way to Jones. What would it take for that changing of the guard to actually occur? Well, Belichick was directly asked that very question during his appearance on WEEI's The Greg Hill Show.

"Well, I think the fact Cam started last year and he's here, somebody is going to have to play better than him," Belichick said Monday, via "We're not going to take a job and say, 'OK, here, this is gift-wrapped for somebody.' But, training camp is all about competition. There's an element of who the starter is, but there's also the competition and in the end the competition is going to decide how things go in any given year. I think everybody on the team is really in the same boat. It's no different. The players' name really doesn't matter. Whatever you did last year, is, OK, great — whether it was good, wasn't so good. This is a new year. This is a new opportunity and each one of us has to establish our level of performance this year, no matter what position you play — head coach, position coach, offensive player, defensive player, whatever it is. And then what that role becomes is what we show we're capable of doing.

"All the players that are here are being evaluated. They all have an opportunity to excel, or other players may perform better than them. We'll just have to see how that goes. I can't control any of that. We're certainly not just going to hand out roles to players until they earn them and whether somebody earns that role or not is dependent upon their performance. Their consistent performance, not over a couple of plays, or a really short window. It's the consistent performance. That's what training camp is for. Really all of the players, it's the same for all of them."

Who will be the Patriots' starting quarterback this season? Can Mac Jones unseat Cam Newton? And what does it mean for the rest of the Patriots' players? Download the CBS Sports app to find out! Plus, get insight from our resident Patriots insider, Tyler Sullivan. If you already have the CBS Sports app, make sure to pick the Patriots as your favorite team for up-to-the-minute news.

Belichick also added that Newton is much more comfortable within the Patriots offense than he was a year ago, which is to be expected given the season's worth of experience that is now under his belt. 

Of course, even as Newton clings to the starting job, Jones will eventually get a chance to start for the Patriots given the first-round investment the team made in him last spring. While he's impressed in his own right (13 of 19 for 146 yards vs. Eagles), he'll seemingly need to really create a substantial separation from Newton for Belichick to consider the swap before Week 1. 

That doesn't mean, however, that Jones won't see the field at all to begin the year as Belichick didn't rule out a platoon situation between him and Newton. 

"Those specific questions like that are really hard to answer," he said. "I mean, here's what I will always say: I will always say I am going to do what is best for the team. I am going to do whatever I can to help the team win. So, if that's playing a guard in the backfield, then we'll play a guard in the backfield. If it's putting 10 defensive backs on the field, if that's what it is, maybe we'll put 10 defensive backs on the field. I am not going to rule out anything. If I think something would help us win, I would consider it. The goal is not to have this happen, or have that happen, it's to work through our system and ultimately do what we feel like is best for the team. And that's at every position, every game, all the way across the board."

The Patriots will hold joint practices with the New York Giants this week before wrapping up the preseason on Sunday.