New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick finally spoke for the first time about Cam Newton. He sounded pretty upbeat about how things are going but stressed that the former NFL MVP will still have to work his way to earning the starting quarterback role.
As most know, the Patriots lost a big one when Tom Brady elected to join the Tampa Bay Rays. Until Newton got in the picture, Jarrett Stidham appeared to have the inside track. That could still happen although pundits felt that the entry of Newton will change all that.
However, Belichick remains mum on that aspect. Despite knowing what Newton can do, the 68-year-old coach reveals that Newton will still have to earn that shot. For now, things are going on well between him and Newton in what is a getting-to-know-you period. Belichick spoke on Newton via conference call.
“We spent quite a bit of time with Cam, and he spent quite a bit of time with us. I think it was a mutual interest. We [spoke to] quite a . . . number of different people and had a number of different conversations just trying to see how the fit would be. It was very positive on our end, and I’m glad it worked out.”
However, that does not immediately indicate that Newton is certain to get the starting nod. Belichick bats that like everyone else, the 31-year-old play-caller needs to work his way to get that shot.
“That spot’s the same as all the other spots on the team,” Belichick said. “We’ve got a long way to go, and we’ll see how things turn out. I can’t control how players perform. That’s up to them. We’ll give everybody an opportunity and see what happens.”
One thing that Newton has to prove is his ability to stay healthy. He played only two games last season with the Carolina Panthers and has been struggling through injuries in the past years. This is one reason why several teams were a bit apprehensive to sign him. If he proves he can last longer in a season, it would be his ticket to get the right pay due to someone of his caliber.
As mentioned in a previous post, the contract of Newton will depend on how well he performs. And an underlying factor to that is staying healthy. The Pats may have taken a chance on him but are making sure that they get their money’s worth.
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