Patriots’ Cam Newton has taken N’Keal Harry ‘under his wing’
New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton has only played one game for the franchise, but he’s already showing his abilities to lead in the locker room.
The veteran signal-caller is making a noticeable effort to mentor second-year Patriots wide receiver N’Keal Harry, who is clearly appreciative of the tutelage.
On “Around the NFL” on Friday, NFL Network reporter Michael Giardi shed some light into Newton’s budding relationship with Harry.
“There is a relationship there. … It’s little brother to big brother. And he really appreciates the way Cam has put him under his wing,” Giardi said.
Harry was a first-round pick in 2019, a surprise given the Patriots’ repulsion to early receivers, but struggled to make an imprint on the offense in his rookie season.
“He had a hard time getting on the same page with Tom Brady, first because of injury and then because maybe his routes weren’t as precise as Brady wanted them to me, and they never really meshed,” Giardi said.
On the other hand, Cam is “going out of his way” to connect with Harry, per Giardi.
— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) September 18, 2020
Newton and Harry displayed some early chemistry in Week 1, connecting on five passes for 39 yards (he caught 12 as a rookie). However, Harry’s season debut was dampened by a nearly costly fumble that turned a potential Patriots touchdown into a touchback for the Miami Dolphins. Miami promptly scored a touchdown and two-point conversion to tighten the game in the third quarter. New England held on for a 21-11 win.
Earlier this week, Newton expressed his confidence in Harry to mitigate the mistakes and chose to accentuate the positive in the receiver’s progress.
“I think that one play overshadowed the production he did have,” Newton said. “He bailed me out on a play … He did pretty good in the run game. He had a couple of contested catches … he knows [the fumble’s] unacceptable. But … it was just one mistake … He’s making leaps and strides as everyone would expect him to be. He’s growing up into his best self.”
Newton also cited his experience working with young receivers during the new Patriots gunslinger’s time with the Carolina Panthers.
“The thing that makes me and N’Keal even more closer … being at Carolina, I’ve had a N’Keal in my life for as long as my career has existed … Being a high-invested draft pick, dating back to Kelvin Benjamin, to Devin Funchess … then you invest in Curtis Samuel, D.J. Moore, Christian McCaffrey. So it’s nothing new [for me] to come on a team and you have young talent at receiver, and trying to morph him into the best player he can possibly be.”
Harry will have a chance to make up for the fumble against the Seattle Seahawks (1-0) in Week 2.