A huge smile crept across Cam Newton’s face when the New England Patriots quarterback was asked how he’s “meshing” with head coach Bill Belichick one week into training camp.
It’s seemingly going well.
“Listen, listen, there’s a lot of things that — I’ll just say there’s a perception, but at the end of the day, it’s football,” Newon said Friday in a video conferene call. “I’ve loved it ever since I’ve been here. I’ve been here going on a week now. And you hear rumors about certain things, but once you finally get settled in on things like that, none of that really matters. It’s just all about finding a way to prove your worth on the team.”
Of course, the Patriots are only going through strength and conditioning and walk-throughs so far. Newton hasn’t really had to be coached up to this point. But first impressions are important, and those seemingly are positive.
“At the end of the day, it’s nothing like actually finding out and through trial and error,” Newton said. “I think one thing that Coach Belichick does a great job of is setting the tone early and you’re going to know certain things and how it’s done at a sooner rate rather than later.”
Belichick wouldn’t offer up much on how Newton was acclimating in a conference call Friday morning. But Josh McDaniels certainly seems impressed with his new quarterback.
“Knowing him how I do now, and that’s not to say we’ve had a long relationship, I think he’s a really good communicator. He tells you when he feels comfortable with something, and he tells you when he doesn’t. I think at the beginning of any relationship, that’s a really good place to start is, ‘Hey, I’m going to be trying to move at a pace that suits you, and you just be honest and tell me what I need to do better in terms of trying to communicate it to you.’
“I think he’s done a really good job of that. I’ve talked to some people who have been with him in the past, and he’s a very coachable guy. This guy wants to work. He’s worked really hard since we signed him, and he’s trying to gain every day, which is really all we can ask of him.”
Real practices will begin Aug. 12. Then the pads will come on starting Aug. 17. The NFL has canceled preseason games this summer, so Newton will have just three weeks.to prove he deserves to be the Patriots’ starting quarterback over Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer.