During his Thursday afternoon video conference, a reporter asked Cam Newton whether he’s had any time to explore Boston or Providence since arriving in New England three months ago.
“Thanks to Dolla Bill and ol’ Mickey D’s, I’ve had my plate full,” the Patriots quarterback replied, smiling. “So I haven’t been able to really get out much.”
Dolla Bill — aka Patriots head coach Bill Belichick — appreciates that dedication.
Belichick, who’s praised Newton at every turn, applauded the signal-caller again Friday morning.
According to the coach, Newton has spent more time inside Gillette Stadium than any other Patriots player this season, which has helped endear him to his teammates and coaches.
“Cam does a great job of connecting with everybody, whether it’s his teammates, his receivers, guys on defense, other people in the organization,” Belichick said. “I think the captain voting — not that that’s the final determination of leadership — but I think the fact that he has been here a pretty short amount of time and earned that type of respect and support from his teammates is pretty impressive.
“But I think it’s across the board — it’s the offensive line, it’s the receivers, it’s all the offensive players and coaches. And it extends into other areas, as well — special teams and defense and other people in the organization. I think we’ve all seen that, and it’s impressive. It’s impressive.
“He’s here a lot. He’s in the building, and he’s visible. He’s in sight, and he’s connecting with people as much as any player. He’s in the building more than any player on the team, but he spends a lot of time talking and connecting and building relationships with those people. He has tremendous leadership. It’s very impressive.”
Newton, one of eight Patriots captains for the 2020 season, has used personalized nicknames, custom handshakes and positive public comments to quickly forge bonds inside the locker room. His praise for New England’s receivers — second-year pro N’Keal Harry, in particular — has been especially notable.
Belichick was asked whether a quarterback showing confidence in his teammates can lead to improved on-field performance.
?Of course,” he replied. “I think all good players do that. All leaders do that. You have confidence in the people that you work with, and that makes everybody perform at a higher level and have confidence in each other. I mean, you have to earn that, but certainly to have confidence in the people you’re working with is very important to being successful.”
The Patriots will look to improve to 3-1 under Newton’s command this Sunday as they travel to Kansas City for a date with the Super Bowl champion Chiefs.