Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels hasn’t been around Cam Newton much, but the quarterback has made a good first impression.
Speaking via video conference Friday, McDaniels believes Newton will be able to handle whatever the Patriots coaching staff throws at him, including hard coaching.
“Knowing him how I do now, and again, that's not to say we've had a long relationship. I think he's a really good communicator,” he said. “He tells you when he when he feels comfortable with something and he tells you when he doesn’t. I think at the beginning of any relationship, I think that's a really good place to start, 'Hey, I'm going to be trying to move at a pace that suits you and you just be honest and tell me you know, what I need to do better in terms of trying to communicate it to you.'
“So, I think he's really done a good job of that. I've talked to some people that have been with them in the past and he's a very coachable guy. This guy wants to work and he's worked really hard since since we signed him, and he's trying to gain every day, which is really all we can ask of him.”
While it’s early, it appears Newton has been able to pick up the Patriots’ playbook.
“He’s a smart football player,” McDaniels said. “He’s played a lot of football. He’s seen a lot of stuff. Guys in our league rarely have the type of success that a player like he has had and this fast without understanding the game. He learns well and we’re in the middle of this process of trying to get him caught up along with a lot of the new guys to learn what we want him to do. We’ll just keep working at it every day.
“I know they have a great spirit and demeanor about themselves and they’re working at it really hard and we’ll see how far we can take it by the time we are ready to play. I think the other thing is, whatever we don’t do well, we don’t do it. That’s really an important thing and an important factor for us to keep in mind. Doesn’t matter how much I want to do well, what matters is what we can actually do well. Whatever that is, we’ll try to win that way.”
Newton will be competing with Jarrett Stidham for the starting job, but it appears it is Newton’s job to lose.