On the surface, that made some sense. Newton has an oversized personality and Belichick, well, does not. Most players who come to the Patriots quickly learn to keep their interviews bland as to not give away any secrets. From the outside looking in, Belichick wouldn’t like anyone who is outspoken.
But the Newton-Belichick chatter didn’t account for an important thing: Belichick wants players who love football and want to win. Newton is certainly that.
Bill Belichick: Cam Newton has ‘a great personality’
For anyone who thought Belichick and Newton couldn’t get along, Belichick’s answer on SiriusXM NFL Radio will be a big surprise.
For more than two minutes, Belichick gushed about Newton’s competitiveness, talent and even his personality.
“He’s got a great personality. He gets along with everybody,” Belichick said on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “He’s very social and has a great presence, whether it’s in a small room of a couple people or in a bigger group.”
That’s not what most people would have expected to hear. Belichick has had some big personalities before, most notably Randy Moss and Rob Gronkowski, and he has high praise for both of them. That’s because both of them were very serious about the business of football, and Belichick sees that in Newton too.
Belichick impressed with Newton’s work ethic
Belichick said he was impressed that Newton works on things he isn’t good at, instead of taking the comfortable route and working on his strengths.
“He’s an extremely hard worker. Nobody works harder than Cam does,” Belichick said. “He’s here early. He stays late, and he works very hard.”
Belichick said there are differing degrees of competitiveness among players, and Newton stands out on the field and also in meetings and training.
Based on what I’ve seen I would put him in the top echelon of that [competitiveness],” Belichick said.
Does all of that mean Newton will be a smash hit with the Patriots? Not necessarily. We haven’t seen how healthy he is or how he fits in what will almost assuredly be a new-look Patriots offense.
But it seems that if Newton doesn’t work out, it won’t be because he clashed with Belichick. There are plenty of notions about “The Patriot Way,” and many of them are probably right, but Newton has already checked the most important box for Belichick. He’s ready to go to work.
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