A major topic since Cam Newton signed with the Patriots has been the relationship between him and Bill Belichick.
Almost every one of Newton’s former coaches who have spoken since the signing have said what a great fit it will be. But then this week came Kyle Love, a defensive tackle who has both played for Belichick and been a teammate of Newton.
He has some questions.
“Being a professional in New England is different from being a professional in Carolina. It’s a whole different ballgame,” Love told Andrew Callahan of the Boston Herald. “Bill wants things run a certain way, wants things practiced a certain way and said a certain way in the classroom and in the media. New England is not for everybody. Every player does not fit well there physically or mentally.”
He added: “This is just my opinion, but I don’t feel like Cam can take the pressure of coaches talking down about his play. If he had a bad game in Carolina, the coaching staff wouldn’t say much to him because they may have felt he could be a little frail about it or maybe pout. They never really corrected to the point Bill used to correct Tom (Brady).”
Based on this, Newton might have a hard time handling things if he’s treated like Brady was where Belichick made it a point to acknowledge his mistakes on a daily basis.
But, what if Belichick treats Newton a little different?
This isn’t to say Belichick will just let Newton do whatever he wants and never point out the faults in his game, but part of what makes Belichick a great coach is he knows how to get the most out of his players. He’s not going to treat every single one of them the same way.
If he knows calling a player out in a meeting for his mistakes is going to make them never happen again, he’s going to do that. If he knows a player can’t handle getting called out in front of the entire team, he’s not going to do it as much as he would with a player who can.
So, if Newton falls into the category of not being able handle being called out in front of the entire team, Belichick will find a different way to do it. Maybe it’s in the quarterbacks room. Maybe it’s during his weekly meetings with the quarterbacks. Bottom line, Belichick knows how to get the most out of his players and sometimes will change the way he does things to accommodate them.
That is part of what makes him a great coach — his ability to adapt in so many different ways.
Think about it: did Belichick treat Randy Moss the same way as say Tedy Bruschi, or Vince Wilfork? Also, look at how he’s coached the last several years — much more laid back and allowing his players to have fun on the practice field. Did he have the defense playing offense and taking on the offense playing defense at the goal line during training camp say five or six years ago?
No, but that’s just Belichick adapting to the times.
While everyone is discussing how Newton will be able to handle Belichick, what really should be discussed is how Belichick will adapt to Newton.
It’s only what he’s been doing his entire coaching career.