How is Cam Newton going to mesh with New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick?
That was the question on a lot of fans' and media members' minds when reports first surfaced in late June that the former league MVP was signing a one-year free agent contract with the Patriots.
So far, it sounds like the two have gotten along well. Newton has had good things to say about Belichick, and the legendary coach has given similar praise to the veteran quarterback.
Belichick even said "nobody works harder than Cam" while raving about Newton's work ethic and competitiveness during a radio interview last week.
During an interview on WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show" on Monday morning, Newton explained why he's excited to play for someone like Belichick.
“I think every type of stereotype that I had about Coach Belichick changed the day I talked to him,” Newton said. “You look at the lineage of players that he’s had over the years — obviously the (Tom) Bradys, the Randy Mosses, the Corey Dillons, the Lawrence Taylors, and the list goes on, Tedy Bruschi, it’s no wonder why he’s sustained success over the years.
"When I name those players, it's just a small smorgasbord of different types of guys, cultures, personas and everything alike. If he was able to accomplish those things with those players, it made a lot of sense. The time when I spoke to him and obviously meeting him face-to-face, it removed any type of doubt, if I even had any. It’s just exciting to play for a person like that.”
After a strong training camp, Newton was voted an offensive captain for the Patriots and reportedly will start at quarterback when the team kicks off the 2020 NFL season at home against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday afternoon.
There wasn't a better fit in free agency for Newton than the Patriots. In New England, he has an opportunity to start, a chance to compete in the playoffs and learn from the best head coach in league history in Belichick.
Newton ultimately will be judged by his on-field performance, and despite the high amount of roster turnover the Patriots have dealt with in recent months, expectations for the team remain very high entering the new season. If Newton is able to stay healthy and perform at a high level consistently, the decision to sign him could prove to be one of Belichick's best roster moves in recent memory.