If Cam Newton succeeds in succeeding Tom Brady as a new defender for the New England Patriots, he will have to win a job at training camp. Bill Belichik stopped decisively naming Newton on the team’s QB1.
“This place is the same as all the other spots on the team. We have a very long way to go. We will see how things develop,” Belikic said in his first public statements Friday after Newton’s signing with the team. “I can’t control the performance of the players; it’s up to them. We’ll give everyone a chance and see what happens. I don’t know.”
Belikik has been consistent with this type of approach in his 20 seasons as coach of the Patriots, although there was no question of who would start in the quarterback after Brady took the top job in 2001
Brady’s free move to the Buccaneers in Tampa Bay in March created a mammoth void that Newton – based on a career summary – is the leading candidate to fill after agreeing to a one-year contract with the club in late June.
“We spent a lot of time with Kam, [had] many different people and a number of different conversations, just trying to figure out how appropriate it would be. Our end was very positive. “I’m glad it worked out,” Belichik said.
Newton’s main competition will be Jarrett Stidham, an Auburn Fellow, selected for the fourth round in 2019. Brian Hoyer, an 11-year veteran, is also in the depths of the schedule, along with undeclared free agent Brian Leverke of Michigan.
Last year, Stidham was a major reserve for the Patriots, and he helped organize throwing sessions with receivers in suburban Boston for several months in the off-season. After Newton officially joined the Patriots, he connected with some of the team’s catchers in Los Angeles in the last month, such as Julian Edelman and the chosen first round of 2019 N’Keal Harry.
But Newton has reason to compensate after missing the virtual program for the off-season team during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The meetings were good for all of us – for the players, for the staff – something like bringing things together. I felt like we did what we could. We have a lot of the opportunities we had,” Belicik said, acknowledging that they were different. to be able to practice in the field.
As for how the Patriots will build a game book without naming a starting defender, Belishik said it will be the same as in the first 20 years of his rule.
“You create a common structure that you apply. Everyone has to learn some basics and certain basics. Every player, no matter how long he has played – whether it’s two years or 20 years – still has major progress towards training camp in the position of this player, “said Belichik.” That’s where we’ll start. This, in my opinion, is what needs to be done, regardless of who the player is or what position he plays. …
“I don’t think you start in training camp with your football team, which makes a triple reverse or double reverse, or things that could emphasize a particular player. These are the things that come down to a little bit.”
While the Patriots’ plans to replace Brady will be closely monitored, as the team adapts to the fact that six NFL players are giving up the 2020 season, a group led by linebacker Dont Hightower, safety Patrick Chung and starting right tackle with Marcus Cannon.
Asked about his reaction to non-participation, Belicik replied: “I respect everyone. I talked to these boys and they explained their situation. They had to make the best decision for them and I fully respect and support him.”
Belichik added that he is not sure if there will be more players who can decide to give up the season.
“Everyone has to make their own individual decisions on this issue. We have to weigh our own situation,” he said. “Each of us is unique and we all have different lives, situations, families, environments, etc. etc.”