Cam Newton hasn't exactly lit the world on fire during his Patriots tenure. But it sounds like he's already won hearts and minds in New England.
"He's fit in really well, because he's like everybody in this locker room. All we want to do is win," McCourty said. "And I think you see it most when Cam gets in there and guts out a three-yard run, or it's on the goal-line and he runs and carries three guys into the end zone. I know he's a bigger quarterback, but quarterbacks aren't known to want to do that."
McCourty added that Newton has dispelled any preconceived notions and impressed his teammates with how he carries himself.
"I've really enjoyed getting to know him and getting to see his work ethic up close and personal. Because it's nothing like what it's portrayed as," McCourty said.
"He's really a hard worker, humble guy that for me has been awesome to see. He just wants to see all the young guys do well. He's been a big reason why some of these guys have stepped up and played well this year."
The Patriots are 4-1 in their last five games but at 6-6 are still on track to miss the postseason for the first time since 2008. Newton has struggled plenty, too: He has five touchdown passes to nine interceptions this season and has only thrown for 200-plus yards in three of his 11 starts.
According to Breer, however, Newton isn't in New England's doghouse. In fact, the team apparently respects the quarterback's attitude in the face of adversity.
"The Patriots staff knows it has some deficiencies in offensive personnel. They see what you see," Breer wrote. "My sense is they very much appreciate how positive Newton’s been through a situation that isn’t optimal for a quarterback.
"They know, given his accomplishments in the NFL, it’s not a given that he’d be that way. That he has been, as they see it, is a big reason why the Patriots have been able to ride out some rough patches."
Do they appreciate Newton enough to re-sign him as a free agent in 2021? Or will they seek a more talented QB via the NFL Draft or free agency?
We'll have to wait for that answer, but it seems Newton is doing all the right things off the field, regardless of his performance on it.