To say that Cam Newton has fit right in with the Patriots since joining the team in early July might be the understatement of the summer.
The former Panthers star and NFL MVP has taken his opportunity at career redemption in New England and run with it, bringing an energy and work ethic to his new job that’s drawn rave reviews from coaches and teammates alike. He won the Patriots starting quarterback job and was named team captain.
Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels continued the Newton praise parade on Tuesday during a video conference with local reporters when asked what it’s been like to work with the superstar former No.
1 overall pick.
“He’s come in and he’s really worked hard,” McDaniels began. “It’s really been an enjoyable experience for me, for our staff, our team just to get to know him and the things that he’s been familiar with. And then watch him acclimate to our system and our players and the way we do things. His attitude’s been great. It’s been fun. It’s been a fun process. He brings a lot of energy. There is never a dull moment. And he really…you can see why the players gravitate so much towards him. His personality lends itself to that, whether it’s in the meeting room, on the practice field, in the locker room, etc. He’s done a really good job.”
Certainly all this praise comes with the understanding that Newton has yet to take a single snap in a game situation or against a defense other than the Patriots. The next phase in the process begins on Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium in the season opener against the Dolphins.
But the work put in so far behind the scenes certainly seems to have McDaniels hopeful of what may come in competitive action.
“We have a long way to go in terms of hopefully where we’ll ultimately be in terms of growth and understanding of the totality of what may be able to become on offense,” McDaniels admitted. “But I think there’s nothing more I could have asked him to do in the four or five weeks that we’ve been working together to try to grasp his responsibility in our offense at the quarterback position. I think the guys that have been in that room have really worked well together to help that process along. We’ve got guys with different, varying levels of experience and certainly I think they’ve welcomed him, as have our offensive players, our team. He’s really done a good job of reciprocating that with his work and his effort every day.”