Patriots fans want to know how Cam Newton will adapt to New England after nine seasons with the Carolina Panthers.
The guy who played with Newton in Carolina and under Bill Belichick in New England has a pretty good idea.
Free-agent offensive lineman Marshall Newhouse, who spent the 2019 season with the Patriots, was Newton's teammate for 11 of the Panthers' 16 games in 2018.
Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis
So, what does he say to the skeptics who believe Newton's supposed "strong personality" will clash with Belichick's supposed "no-nonsense approach" in New England?
"Some people who are just uncomfortable with a guy as strong in personality as Cam might see that as something that could cause friction," Newhouse said last week on Sirius XM NFL's "Late Hits" show, as transcribed by ESPN's Mike Reiss. "But people who are secure and understand what it takes to play in the NFL -- both Bill Belichick and [offensive coordinator] Josh McDaniels as a staff and Cam Newton as a guy who has matured and competed and grown so much over the years -- to those guys, none of this matters."
Translation: Belichick and the 31-year-old Newton are both adults who are committed to success and know what it takes to achieve it.
Newhouse witnessed Newton's drive first-hand when he first came to Carolina in September 2018.
"My mornings started early, cramming the playbook," Newhouse recalled. "Lo and behold, Cam was there, hours before me, walking on the treadmill, studying his playbook. Same in the afternoon, with Luke Kuechly, studying, getting extra film work. So the work part is not a question. You can call it flamboyance, but he's just got a strong personality. He's a leader.
"But when has Bill Belichick ever shied away from that? We just assume they don't mesh with that kind of thing, but in reality, there are strong personalities all over the locker room. Everybody just knows their role. I think Cam will get there, and they'll kind of help him define what his role is, and he'll adapt to that. Them not being able to get along is just a fallacy, in my opinion."
Patriots safety Devin McCourty shares Newhouse's belief, recently pointing out that New England's locker room features an eclectic mix of personalities who aren't necessarily censored by Belichick like the public perceives.
While Newhouse believes Newton will be fine in Foxboro, though, he still doesn't believe the three-time Pro Bowler will be handed the QB job.
"I wouldn't shoo him in just yet, even though he's got the ability. It's all about health for him," Newhouse said. "They have a guy in Jarrett Stidham who I think they believe in. But he's young and unproven. So there's a lot of variables in play."
Newton will have to prove he's healthy after shoulder and foot injuries caused him to miss a total of 16 games over the last two seasons. But Newhouse is among many who believe the veteran QB will be a great fit in New England's locker room.