Foxboro, MA - The end of the first week of full training camp for the New England Patriots brought us the first instance of Cam Newton at the Gillette Stadium microphone, albeit with those of us in the press corps at a virtual social distance. As the new era of the Belichick legacy begins, post Tom Brady, we find out where the mindset of the "next franchise man" (hopefully!) is during his integration to a Super Bowl Championship team. “I have to prove to myself, that’s a daily challenge,” he said on Friday. “I don’t think anyone’s expectations will ever surpass the expectations I have of myself.”
Newton comes into camp obviously with the most star power, but will find himself in a Quarterback competition with veteran Bryan Hoyer and newbie Jarrett Stidham.
“You compete every day, it doesn’t matter how much a person is paid, how much a person’s experience [is], how much a person knows or doesn’t know,” he said. “I think, you know, we all are competing each and every day ... at the end of the day, you’re one game away ... at the end of the day, it’s about proving your worth and doing your part.”
“The wait was so long that I’d be lying to you if I didn’t say that a lot of different potentials didn’t creep into your mind,” he said. “Yet through it all, I had an unbelievable support cast and [that] kept me on the straight and narrow ... I used that as fuel.”
Cam Newton, at 31 years old, signed with the Patriots in March after being unceremoniously released from the Carolina Panthers, where he was ineffective in the past few seasons due to injuries, some of which Newton has attested to not having a very strong front line, something the Patriots are known for under Belichick and OC Josh McDaniels.
“Let’s just say, I wake up mad, you know ... I’m not able to see my kids on a regular basis, that’s what makes me mad. At the end of the day, for me, I’m not going to dwell on the past. I’m a person that’s a self motivator and even though the past is the past, I’m not going to keep looking back, I’m just going to turn the page and move forward.”
“We’ve got a long way to go and we’ll see how things turn out,” Bill Belichick said Friday when asked about the position that Tom Brady had a stranglehold on the last two decades. “I can’t control how players perform; that’s up to them. We’ll give everyone an opportunity and see what happens.”
If social media posts from the influential QB, which went viral through the sports media world, is any indication of Newton's readiness, Superman has returned!
Newton closed his first media session by stating, "I'm full go."