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A Rival AFC East Head Coach Doesn't Think Cam Newton Will Be Patriots' Week 1 Starter

By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) -- With Cam Newton signing with the Patriots, the expectation is he'll be New England's starting quarterback in Week 1. One rival head coach in the AFC East isn't subscribing to that notion, though.

Newton joins a quarterback room in New England that includes 23-year-old Jarrett Stidham, in just his second NFL season, and veteran Brian Hoyer. Even though Newton had to settle for a one-year, incentive-driven deal after an injury plagued 2019 season, many pontificate that he'll be the starting QB in New England come September. Stidham may be the future for the Patriots, but Newton gives them the best chance to "win now" in 2020.

But one AFC East head coach doesn't believe Newton will be taking New England's snaps come September, and that Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels will use the 2015 NFL MVP as more of a "wild card" option at quarterback.

ESPN's Dianna Russini tweeted Wednesday morning: "I spoke over text w/ an AFC East Head Coach on Cam Newton and the Patriots. "I think they are going to keep 3 QBs. Use Cam Newton perhaps as the wild card. I actually don't see him starting Week 1 in the offense...I know one thing for a fact: the #Patriots love Jarrett Stidham,.

Interesting take. Now comes the fun part of trying to figure out which of the three AFC East coaches -- Buffalo's Sean McDermott, New York's Adam Gase, or Miami's Brian Flores -- would say such a thing. And it really shouldn't take much sleuthing to figure it out.

McDermott hasn't had much to say about the Patriots this offseason, even as his Bills passed the perennial division favorites in preseason predictions. And everyone always has fun questioning whether Gase knows what is actually going on in reality. Even though Gase is seen as a bit of a QB whisperer -- or at least he was before landing with the Jets -- he's got enough to worry about in Florham Park, New Jersey.

That leaves Flores as the likeliest candidate, and it makes perfect sense. Flores should have a pretty good feel for the Patriots' line of thinking given his 15 years with the team. Plus, there's that little matter that the Patriots and Dolphins square off against each other in Week 1. So Flores will be keeping a close eye on New England's quarterback situation throughout training camp, as he gears up for another matchup against his former team.

We'll see if Flores -- or whomever this AFC East head coach actually is -- is correct in a few short months.

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