If Cam Newton succeeds Tom Brady as the New England Patriots quarterback, he will have to win the job at training camp. Bill Belichick decided to decisively decide Newton’s name as the team’s QB1.
“This place is the same as every other point on the team. We have a long way to go. We’ll see how things end,” Belichick said Friday in his first public statements since Newton signed 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.”
Belichick has been consistent with this type of approach in his 20 seasons as a Patriots coach, though there was no doubt who would start at quarterback once Brady did the top job in 2001, helping the franchise to its first of six Super Bowl championships.
Brady’s free agent’s departure to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in March has created a mammoth void that Newton, based on his career resume, is the top candidate to fill after agreeing to a one-year contract. with the club in late June.
“We spent a lot of time with Cam, [had] a number of different people and a number of different conversations, just trying to see what the fit would be like. It was very positive for our end. I’m glad it worked, ”Belichick said.
Newton’s main competition will be the fourth round pick of 2019 Jarrett Stidham, an Auburn student. Brian Hoyer, an 11-year veteran, is also in the background letter alongside undocumented free agent Brian Lewerke of the state of Michigan.
Stidham served as the Patriots ’top backup last year, and helped organize receiver pitching sessions in the suburban neighborhood of Boston for several months in the off-season. Once Newton officially joined the Patriots, he connected with some of the Los Angeles team’s catchers over the past month, such as Julian Edelman and 2019 first-round setter N’Keal Harry.
But Newton has decided to recover after missing the team’s off-season virtual program during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The meetings were beneficial for all of us, for the players and the staff, as a bit of bringing things together. I felt like we were doing what we could do. We took a lot out of the opportunities we had,” he said. Belichick, recognizing that they were different from being able to practice in the field.
As for how the Patriots will build a playbook without naming an starting quarterback, Belichick said it will be the same as it has been for the first 20 years of his tenure.
“Set up a general structure that you implement. Everyone needs to learn certain fundamentals and certain basics. Every player, no matter how much he plays, whether it’s two years or 20, there is still a basic progression on the training ground. ‘that player,’ ”Belichick said. “This is where we will start. That, 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 on the training ground with your football team by putting a triple or reverse pass, or similar things that can highlight a particular player. Road a bit.”
While the Patriots’ plans to replace Brady will be closely monitored, so will the team’s ability to adapt to six NFL senior players opting for the 2020 season, a group led by linebacker Dont’a Hightower. with the safety of Patrick Chung and his start. right right Marcus Cannon.
Asked about her reaction to the deactivations, Belichick said, “I respect them all. I talked to these guys and they explained their situation to me. They had to make the decision that was best for them and I totally respect and support them. 100 percent. “
Belichick added that he was not sure if there would be more players who could decide to opt in the low season.
“Everyone has to make their own individual decisions about it. They have to weigh their own situation,” he said. “Each of us is unique and we all have lives, situations, families, environments, etc., etc.”