FOXBORO, MASS. (WHDH) - New England Patriots rookie quarterback Mac Jones says he wasn’t surprised that head coach Bill Belichick named him the team’s starter over veteran Cam Newton.

“Not really…Like I always say, I prepare to be the starter,” Jones told WEEI’s “Merloni and Fauria” radio program when asked if he was surprised to have earned the starting job heading into the season-opening game on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. “I got a chance to get a lot of reps. Nothing really changes. Just trying to be a good teammate, trying to learn the plays every day, fix what I messed up on.”

The Patriots released Newton last week hours before NFL teams reduced rosters to 53 players. He was 7-8 as a starter last season.

Jones, a product of the University of Alabama, credited the 2015 NFL MVP with helping him get acclimated to the NFL.

“He was a really good mentor to me. I know we’ll stay in touch,” Jones said of Newton. “I never felt like we were butting heads or anything like that.”

Jones was the first quarterback selected in the first round during Belichick’s 22 seasons in New England.

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