Why Bill Belichick Once Called New Patriots QB Cam Newton ‘Public Enemy No. 1’


Jun 28, 2020

Public Enemy No. 1 now plays for the New England Patriots.

That’s how Patriots head coach Bill Belichick referred to quarterback Cam Newton back in 2017. The Patriots reportedly signed Newton on Sunday night.

Here’s the full quote from Belichick:

“I think when you’re talking about mobile quarterbacks, guys that are tough to handle, tackle, can throw, run, make good decisions — I mean, I would put Newton at the top of the list,” Belichick said in 2017. “Not saying that there aren’t a lot of other good players that do that, but I would say, of all the guys we play or have played recently in the last couple of years, I would definitely put him — he’s the hardest guy to deal with. He makes good decisions, he can run, he’s strong, he’s hard to tackle. He can do a lot of different things, beat you in a lot of different ways. We saw that in the game down there in ‘13, so I would put him at the top of the list. Not saying the other guys aren’t a problem, because they are, but he’s public enemy No. 1.”

Newton is 2-0 as a starter against the Patriots.

Belichick has a tendency to heap praise on even the least deserving players. He once called Bryce Petty “impressive” in a season when the former New York Jets quarterback completed 49.1 percent of his passes with a 55.1 passer rating. That might be my all-time favorite Belichick quote.

But what Belichick said about Newton certainly felt genuine. And now we know it was since the Patriots brought him on board to compete for the starting quarterback job.

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Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images
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