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Josh McDaniels Says Cam Newton Has Been Patriots 'Best Option' At Quarterback All Season

BOSTON (CBS) -- The Patriots offense did very little in Thursday night's 24-3 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, and with postseason hopes all but extinguished, the calls for the team to make a change at quarterback are getting louder and louder. But the Patriots have made it clear that Cam Newton is their quarterback, and it's not just the head coach.

Bill Belichick vehemently proclaimed that Newton is the team's starting quarterback after Thursday night's loss, and he made it clear Friday morning that he's sick of being asked about the position.

Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels also came to Newton's defense on Friday afternoon,

"Cam has certainly been the best option for us all year long, since he earned the opportunity in training camp. And, look, whenever the offense struggles, I know the attention is always going to get turned to that position. Me personally, it's my responsibility to put us in a position to be more productive than we were last night," McDaniels said on a conference call with New England reporters. "Whenever we struggle offensively and don't score enough points to win a game, I have to do a better job."

McDaniels said that New England's offensive struggles on Thursday night do not fall solely on Newton's shoulders.

"Quarterback play is dependent on a lot of things to do the job properly. The quarterback has to do his job, but there are a lot of other people that go into making that a productive unit," he said. "Cam works hard and knows what we have to do to win. Right now, there are a lot of things that we can all do better. We have to work hard, come back and have a good week of preparation in practice and see if we can't play better as a unit down in Miami and get this thing back on track."

McDaniels pointed to the struggles of New England's offensive line against Los Angeles' vaunted pass rush, which got to Patriots quarterbacks six times on Thursday. Newton was sacked four times before being replaced by Jarrett Stidham in the fourth quarter, who was sacked twice during his relief appearance.

"[The Rams] rush well and whenever you put yourself in a position where you're playing the game from behind and don't have control of the score, you're susceptible to a team that has a good rush making life a little tougher on you," explained McDaniels. "[Improving] starts pre-snap and then we have to be able to stay inside it and block long enough for us to get rid of the ball. We have to get open and give the quarterback opportunity to throw the ball to someone as well.

"Whenever you score three points, it's never just one thing. There are several areas we can improve from last night," McDaniels added.


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