Josh McDaniels has now been working with Cam Newton for a few months and played in three games with him, so he has a pretty good idea of what he's about.
Speaking via video conference Tuesday, McDaniels revealed one thing that he's been "super impressed" with and it relates to how he takes coaching.
“Very, very enjoyable for a coach," he said. "He listens. He’s a really good listener. He communicates well. If he has a question, you always hear the question. He doesn’t hold anything in. Honestly, those are the things if you could ask anything it’s that they would communicate when they don’t understand something clearly, or if you want to correct something that they listen to you intently and try and make those adjustments and changes. I have been super impressed with his humility. This guy has accomplished a lot in his career. Being 10 years in the league and doing all the things he has done, coming here and having no familiarity with our coaching style, our system, or the way we do things, I have been incredibly impressed with the way he’s embraced it, looks forward to it, really wants to be coached, wants to be great, wants to improve and is a great example for a lot of our younger players.
"I feel very comfortable coaching him, whether it is practice, meetings, games, walkthroughs because he is such a great listener and he takes nothing personal, which really there’s no part of coaching that is personal, it’s just about trying to correct and improve. He’s really done a nice job.”
McDaniels also discussed what it's like calling a game with Newton as his quarterback compared to the past and the offensive coordinator indicated it's still a work in progress and things should get better as the season goes along.
“It’s different," he said. "There’s certainly a huge chunk of what we’ve been able to try and do in the past that we continue to try and do. You take certain strengths of each player and in this particular case we’re talking about the quarterback. You take the strengths of the players that you have and you try to put them in the positions to be successful that they have the most confidence in. Whether it is some version of an adjustment in the running game, some ability to use his legs or his size and strength, we’ve tried to do some of all of that.
"At the same time, the most important thing for us and for Cam, is to run the offense. I have really enjoyed the process with him because he prepares so hard. We run a lot of plays that have nothing to do with deception or tricking the defense or anything like that. It is just fundamentals and execution. Cam is adamant about wanting to do his job really well in those areas just as he is if I asked him to run the ball, or throw it deep, or do something else. You try to maximize their strengths each week and at the same time we’re not done learning.
"It takes awhile for you to learn everything that you could possibly do with a player at a certain position. Not to mention the fact that we try to improve in a lot of areas as we move through each week of practice. I think the development, even though he’s played in the league a long time, I think the development of this year for him as a player and our team as an offense, is far from over. Really enjoying the process. I look forward to every day I get to coach him and he obviously reciprocates that with his effort and the time he spends trying to prepare himself for the game.”
The Patriots will take on the Chiefs this Sunday in Kansas City.