If Cam Newton succeeds Tom Brady as the starter of the New England Patriots quarterback, he will have to earn the job in training camp. Bill Belichick stopped decisively when he mentioned Newton the team’s QB1.
“That place is the same as all the other places on the team. We have a very long way to go. We’ll see how things end,” Belichick said on Friday in his first public remarks since Newton signed with -tim. “I can’t control how the players do; it’s up to them. We’ll give everyone a chance and see what happens. I don’t know.”
Belichick was consistent with that kind of approach in his 20th season as Patriots coach, though there was no doubt who would start from quarterback once Brady landed the best job in 2001, helping the concession for the first of six Super Bowl championships.
Brady’s free agent’s departure to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in March has created the mammoth gap that Newton – based on his career path – is the top candidate to fill after accepting a contract. a year with the club at the end of June.
“We spent quite a bit of time with Cam, [had] a number of different people, and a number of different conversations, are trying to see how good it will be. It was very positive on our end. I’m glad it worked, ”Belichick said.
Newton’s primary competition will be the fourth round of the 2019 selection Jarrett Stidham, Auburn’s partner. Brian Hoyer, an 11-year veteran, is also on the in-depth chart along with Michigan State’s unsigned free agent Brian Lewerke.
Stidham served as the Patriots ’best backup last year, and he helped organize throwing sessions with receivers in suburban Bourbani for several months in the offseason. Once Newton officially joined the Patriots, he’s connected to some of the team’s pass-catchers in Los Angeles over the past month, such as Julian Edelman and the 2019 first-round draft pick N ’ Keal Harry.
But Newton is concerned after missing the team’s virtual offseason program during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The meetings were beneficial for all of us – for the players, the staff – the way we put things together. I felt like we did what we could do. There were a lot of opportunities that we had,” Belichick said, acknowledging that they were different from being able to practice on the spot.
As for how the Patriots will build a playbook without mentioning an initial quarterback, Belichick said it will be the same as it has been during the first 20 years of his tenure.
“A general implementing structure has been set up. Everyone needs to learn certain fundamentals and certain basics. Every player, regardless of how long he has been playing – whether two years or 20 years – there is still basic progress towards the training ground. of that player, “Belichick said. “That’s where we’re going to start. That, in my opinion, is what needs to be done, no matter who the player is or in what position he plays …
“I don’t think you start in training camp with your football team by introducing a trip-reverse, or a double-reverse pass, or things like that that can highlight a particular player. Those are the kind of things that fall a little way. “
While the Patriots ’plans to replace Brady will be closely watched, so too will the team adapt to having NFL-high six-player picks out of the 2020 season, a group headed by linebacker Dont’a. Hightower, safety Patrick Chung and a good starter addresses Marcus Cannon.
Asked his reaction to the opt-outs, Belichick said, “I respect them all. I talked to those guys and they explained their situation. They had to make the decision that was best for them and I I respect and support it 100 percent. “
Belichick added that he was not sure if there would be more players who could decide to opt out of the season.
“Everyone has to make their individual decisions about that. They have to weigh their own situation,” he said. “Each of us is unique and we all have different lives, situations, families, environments and so on.”