New England Patriots coach Bill Belisik has said decisively that he will not switch midfielders after withdrawing Cam Newton Early in the fourth quarter of Thursday night 24-3 losing the road to Los Angeles Rams.
Belisik said in his press conference after the match, cutting off the question to give his answer: “How much is our midfielder.”
Newton finished 9 out of 16 for 119 yards against the rams, with one costly interception brought back 79 yards for landing, as the Patriots’ passing offense vanished again.
Replaced with Jarrett Steadham With 10 minutes and 14 seconds remaining and the Patriots trailing 24-3.
Stedham, the draft pick in the 2019 fourth round of Auburn, was a leading candidate Tom BradyAlternate early season before Newton signs a one-year contract on July 8.
When asked why he has not now switched to Steadham, and what Newton has shown Belischek to hold on to, Belischik simply said, “He’s our midfielder, I think I just answered that.”
The Patriots (6-7) still have little odds of qualifying for the post-season, with ESPN Soccer Strength Index Give them a 6% chance. They visit the Miami Dolphins (8-4) on Sunday, December 20, before finishing back-to-back matches at home against the Buffalo Bills (9-3) and the New York Jets (0-12).
As for Newton, he has been most effective in lunge this season, totaling 451 yards in 113 moves with 11 touchdowns. But when opponents restricted Newton’s flowing arenas, and thus the Patriots’ all-around running game, the attack was not constantly able to move the ball in the air.
When Newton was asked if he was worried about being replaced, he said, “This is not my call. I am just doing what I asked about, with an improvement mentality, and that’s what I plan to do consistently.”
Newton now has 199 of the 301’s 2,172-yard pass during the season, with five touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
That, along with Bleshik pulling Newton, 31, late in the blast losses, raised questions about a possible change.
When asked if he is happy with Stedham’s development and what he has seen from it this season, Bilesic said, “Yes. Jarrett has worked hard. He tried to take advantage of his opportunities. But that’s not really the point.”
Newton had been playing with an abdominal injury the previous two games but said it hadn’t affected him on the court.
“We just have to be better and that starts with me personally,” he said. “She just has to do more plays, and that’s up for it.”