The Patriots finally started to practice this week – well, sort of.
On Wednesday and Thursday, the team was allowed on the practice field with coaches. These sessions, however, didn’t include pads or any offense vs. defense work and drills. On Friday, the two sides of the ball would finally come together for the first full-team practice. Of course, pads still won’t come on until next Monday.
Simply put – the coaching staff really doesn’t know where their players stand yet. However, that hasn’t stopped Bill Belichick from noticing Cam Newton’s work ethic. The veteran quarterback has been in New England for two weeks now, and already his practice habits are sticking out.
“Cam’s a hard-working kid. He really is,” Belichick said on Friday.
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Quarterback Cam Newton (1) stands on the sidelines during the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at Bank of America Stadium. (Photo: Jeremy Brevard, Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports)
When Newton signed with the Patriots at the end of June, he immediately started to connect with some receivers and tight ends. He invited Julian Edelman, N’Keal Harry, Mohamed Sanu, Damiere Byrd and Devin Asiasi out to UCLA to throw together. Newton also worked with his teammates at a local high school in Massachusetts when he came to New England before the start of training camp.
Last week, players came to Gillette Stadium for the first time, but the focus was strength and conditioning. This week, they’ve finally got on the field for the first time this offseason, but it’s been a slow build up for everyone.
This is just the start of the Patriots quarterback competition, and so far, Belichick has been happy with Newton and his other quarterbacks: Jarrett Stidham, Brian Hoyer and Brian Lewerke.
“We’ve done a lot of meetings and a lot of walkthroughs, a lot of information has been transferred to all the players, and (Newton)’s worked very hard, I’d say, as all our players have,” Belichick said. “We have a hard-working group. Those guys are ready to go and we’ve put in some long days and they’ve been very attentive throughout the process. I’d say that certainly for all the quarterbacks at that position, those guys have been locked in, been focused, have worked extremely hard, all four of them, and when they all get in the huddle, everybody has a lot of confidence in what they’re able to do and the information they have to give to the team – play-calling, adjustments, audibles or protection adjustments, things like that. That’s all gone pretty well, but again, we haven’t played at anywhere near the speed that we’re going to be playing at, so we’ll see how it all comes together at that point.”
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