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dan shaughnessy

Expect Bill Belichick to stubbornly stand by Cam Newton, and other thoughts

The Patriots have a brand-new quarterback draftee, but that doesn't necessarily mean that Cam Newton (left) has lost favor with Bill Belichick.
The Patriots have a brand-new quarterback draftee, but that doesn't necessarily mean that Cam Newton (left) has lost favor with Bill Belichick.Maddie Meyer/Getty

Picked-up pieces while shedding a tear and closing the book on Jimmy G …

▪ It took Bill Belichick less than a minute to kill the great buzz that accompanied his fortunate and meaningful selection of Alabama quarterback Mac Jones in the first round of Thursday night’s draft.

Before he was even asked a question, Belichick made it clear that “Cam’s our quarterback.”

So here we go. After 10 billion words about Garoppolo, Zach Wilson, Justin Fields, Trey Lance, Mac Jones, Mac Davis, Zac Efron, Teddy Bridgewater, Bridgewater State University, and Mrs. Fields Cookies, prepare yourselves for obtuse and obstinate repetitions of “Cam’s our quarterback” for the next six or eight months.


It will not matter if Jones arrives with the skill sets of Bart Starr, Joe Namath, and Tom Brady. It will not matter if Cam Newton takes the Patriots to a 1-3 start, throwing passes that die in the dirt or get run back for touchdowns by assorted Bills and Dolphins. It will not matter if Rodney Harrison goes on TV and again says that Newton can no longer play in the NFL.

“Cam’s our quarterback.”

Take it to the bank. No matter how obvious it is to the football universe, Belichick will stay the course and give Newton more chances than J-Lo gave A-Rod.

No one will be able to crack Bill on this one. Not Rodney, Adam Schefter, Bill Cowher, Bill Parcells, Tom House, Tom Brady, or Bob Kraft. Certainly not Jonathan. Not Zo. Not Tom E. Not the Cartel.

One of the reporters tried, following up on Bill’s unsolicited declaration of love for Newton Thursday night:

Q. “Going back to your comments off the top, you said that ‘Cam’s our quarterback.’ What exactly does that mean?” (Wow. Talk about walking into one.)


A. “Just what I said.”

The battered, intrepid reporter came back with, “How long does that last for?”

“I don’t know,” said Belichick. “Somebody would have to play better than he does.”

So there you go. You’re damn right Bill ordered the Code Red, and he’s not going to move Cam out of the starting job to make Felger and Mazz feel better. He’s going to stick with the plan. He’ll be like the Red Sox putting Jackie Bradley Jr. in center field every day even when JBJ is hitting .190. Bill hates rookie quarterbacks. He will not turn his team over to Jones unless Newton gets hurt.

Get used to it. Mac Jones is the future quarterback of the Patriots. Maybe a star. But he will not be the quarterback of the Patriots at the start of the season unless Newton gets hurt.

Cam’s your quarterback.

▪ Are Red Sox fans supposed to be happy when they hear that almighty Fenway Sports Group wants to add an NBA and NHL team to its empire? There was a time when fans wanted the owners of the Red Sox to make the baseball team the primary focus. This feels the opposite of that.

▪ The Celtics should be accountable and embarrassed enough to suspend Marcus Smart on their own when it is learned that Smart was docked a game by the NBA for threatening an official during Tuesday’s hideous Garden loss to Oklahoma City.


▪ Quiz: Three players share the record of 13 hits in a single World Series. One did it with the Red Sox. Name them (answer below).

▪ Pete Rose’s Hall of Fame case gets better every day. Now that most of our sports leagues are doing business with gambling companies (you listening, Rob Manfred?), when do we get our first major point-shaving scandal?

Oh, and I hate to burst the bubble of my team-acquiring friends at FSG, but why would any pro sports franchise sell before it becomes clear exactly how much money each team is going to make when all the legalized gambling is in place?

▪ Taylor Hall and David Krejci go together like peas and carrots. Krejci has six goals and five assists in 10 games since Hall was acquired by the Bruins at the deadline.

▪ It was an interesting couple of days for Red Sox chairman Tom Werner. He was at the Pentagon Wednesday to receive the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service, in recognition of Werner’s efforts with Home Base, a program dedicated to the mental health and well-being of veterans and their families. Almost simultaneously, across the pond, Werner was forced to resign from his role with the Premier League’s broadcast advisory group — fallout from the foiled Super League fiasco.

▪ How is it that Trevor Lawrence never won a Heisman Trophy?

▪ Dennis Eckersley, Jerry Remy, and Dave O’Brien will be back in the Fenway broadcast booth for this coming week’s series with the Tigers. It’ll be the first time the NESN team has broadcast regular-season games from Fenway since September of 2019.


▪ Eck and the RemDawg were at the top of their game mocking the weak-swinging Mets in the late innings of Wednesday’s Sox win. Over two days, the Mets made Garrett Richards and Nick Pivetta look like Pedro Martinez and Curt Schilling. Wow. Gonna be a long year at Citi Field.

▪ Wish I could have seen Belichick on stage with Bernie Kosar in Belichick-hating Cleveland at the draft Thursday.

▪ A 16,000-square-foot cannabis dispensary is now open on Friend Street across from the New Boston Garden. A shop like that would have saved Robert Parish some FedEx charges if it had been there in the early 1990s.

▪ Boston or Milwaukee, Bradley forever lives near the Mendoza Line. JBJ went into the weekend batting .200 for the Brewers with one walk and 28 strikeouts.

▪ Baseball Symmetry, courtesy of the Sports Museum’s Richard Johnson: Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron both scored exactly 2,174 runs; Warren Spahn had 363 career hits and 363 career wins; Charlie Hough went 216-216 lifetime; Walter Alston’s Dodger teams went 20-20 in World Series games; Gary Carter and Carlton Fisk each hit half of their homers at home, and half on the road.

▪ Meet the new boss, same as the old boss: Will Buck Showalter be the next Yankees manager?

▪ The Red Sox should get rid of their childish strikeout taunt delivered over the PA every time a Sox pitcher whiffs an enemy batter at Fenway. It’s a Yankee shtick. We should be better.


▪ RIP Nicole Hynes, who died in Brookline last week at the age of 77. Nicole and Thomas Hynes through the years were host family to a number of Bruins rookies, which made Nicole a surrogate mom for, among others, Stephane Quintal, Rob Cimetta, and Joe Thornton when they first lived on their own in Boston.

▪ Astronaut Michael Collins, the third man on 1969′s Apollo 11 mission to the moon, died Wednesday at the age of 90. His daughter Anne lives in Belmont, and Collins threw out a ceremonial first pitch at Fenway in June of 2019.

▪ Quiz answer: Bobby Richardson (1964 Yankees), Lou Brock (1968 Cardinals), Marty Barrett (1986 Red Sox).

Dan Shaughnessy is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at daniel.shaughnessy@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @dan_shaughnessy.