Patriots prepare for season home opener | News
FOXBOROUGH, MA (WGGB/WSHM) — Western Mass News is your Local Sports Authority.
Kickoff is two days away for the New England Patriots, who open up their season on Sunday afternoon against the Miami Dolphins.
Final preparations are underway here at Gillette Stadium ahead of Sunday’s regular-season opener, and if there was any question about how high the standard is here in New England, Tom Brady raised his seventh Super Bowl banner in Tampa Bay on Thursday night.
Now, two years removed from the Brady era, a rookie will take over the reins and look to lead the Pats back to the promised land.
“When I first got here I was watching tape. I watched all the quarterbacks, and obviously, he was on there, he did a really, really good job, and hopefully, I can do a good job too,” Patriots quarterback Mac Jones said.
Jones acknowledging Tom Brady’s legacy while looking ahead to the future the rookie said he’s studied up on everyone, not just on Brady.
On Sunday, he will become the first rookie quarterback to start week one for the Patriots since Drew Bledsoe in 1993. The fans are buying the hype, Jones rank second in jersey sales among NFL players since August 1, one spot above Tom Brady.
When Jones was asked if he’ll be nervous on Sunday, he responded, “I think I’d be doing the wrong thing if I wasn’t.”
As for the quarterback who Jones will be replacing, Cam Newton, he released a 43-minute video on Friday as part of his Funky Friday series with his reaction to getting cut and released on August 31.
“The reason why they released me is because indirectly I was going to be a distraction without being a starter. Just my aura and I told you this off-camera; that’s my blessing and my curse,” Newton said.
Newton went on to say he was quote “absolutely surprised” that the Patriots released him after just one season here in Foxborough.
As for the Patriots, all eyes are on the division rival Miami Dolphins. Coach Bill Belichick said on Friday he has a lot of respect for the dolphins and how they’ve improved over the last couple of years. He said Sunday’s game will serve as a good challenge and opportunity for the pats.
It’s not quite Super Bowl or bust, but after missing the playoffs for only the second time since 2000 last season, fans are excited to watch what this team can do.