Cam Newton on Friday pushed back on the claim New England Patriots rookie Mac Jones was helping him learn the playbook during the final days of his tenure with the organization.
Former Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich made the allegation last week on his YouTube series, “The Dan and Ninko Show.”
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“From what I gained from sources inside the actual building… Mac was basically helping Cam learn the playbook,” Ninkovich said. “Mac was having less mental errors and a better understanding of the offense.”
Newton pushed back in his 40-minute “Funky Friday” video addressing his departure from the Patriots.
“No,” Newton said with a laugh when asked about it on his video.
“What can Mac teach me?” he asked.
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Newton said he had just never been in a system where he had to know where the mike linebacker was and had to identify certain defensive fronts. He asserted that about 30 teams don’t run the philosophy the Patriots run.
The Patriots signed Newton in the middle of the 2020 offseason after nine seasons with the Carolina Panthers, and he was thrust into a nearly impossible situation. He had to fill the big gap left by Tom Brady departing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and had to deal with key players opting out over coronavirus concerns.
Newton himself also contracted coronavirus but only missed one game. In 15 games, he had 2,657 passing yards and had only eight touchdown passes. He added 592 yards on the ground and 12 rushing touchdowns. New England failed to make the playoffs, but the Patriots brought him back.
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The three-time Pro Bowler was put into the heat of the competition with Jones in the preseason. The Patriots selected Jones in the first round of the draft and he showed out during the preseason. Jones had 389 passing yards and a touchdown pass. Newton finished with 162 passing yards and a touchdown pass.