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Cam Newton’s surprising response on whether he’s Patriots’ starting QB

Cam Newton, Patriots

With training camp in full swing, New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton has reportedly wasted no time establishing himself as the clear-cut starter. Regardless, it appears the former NFL MVP is still focused on getting better acquainted with the system.

Newton has taken over the bulk of first-team reps on offense as of late. According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, he feels there is still much he needs to improve on before the 2020 NFL season begins:

“Absolutely not. Every day is a work day for me. That label is not important to me right now,” Newton told reporters. “I have so much I need to get better at, so much I need to learn, so much I need to be comfortable with. Throughout this process, that’s the last thing that I’m pretty much worried about.”

Newton feels that fellow Patriots quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham still have a better grasp of the offense than he does.

“There are certain things when I come to the line of scrimmage and it’s just not as firing mentally as I would want it to be, rather than other plays that may be called,” he said. “I see a person like Hoyster go to the line and he’s as sharp as can be. For me, asking him questions, and he answers them. Stiddy [too]. There are things I know I need to become better at. Until I get those things done, everything else is irrelevant.”

It is encouraging to see that Newton does not seem to be letting up despite his unofficial status as the starter leading up to the 2020 campaign. His comments are indicative of the approach he has taken since his arrival in New England with the Patriots

There had been plenty of speculation regarding Newton’s fit in head coach Bill Belichick’s system. Belichick acknowledging the prospect of a platoon under center appeared to only add fuel to the fire. Fortunately, Newton has clearly managed to keep his mind on the task at hand and it has paid huge dividends so far.

The fact that Hoyer and Stidham are ahead of Newton when it comes to knowledge of the offense hardly comes as any surprise given their time with the Patriots prior to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The onus will fall on them to help get him up to speed with the season just weeks away.