We've heard Bill Belichick praise quarterback Cam Newton plenty of times over the past couple weeks for how well he has grasped the way things work in New England. But this week the Patriots head coach went as far as to say Newton is the hardest worker around, along with a bevy of other compliments for the former MVP.
“You know, I can see why he had the kind of success that he had at Auburn and at Carolina," Belichick said while on SiriusXM NFL Radio on Monday. "In talking to people that were with him there, the things that they said about him, at Auburn and at Carolina from a decade, or two, three years ago, or even last year, it was all the same and it showed up here. He’s an extremely hard worker. Nobody works harder than Cam does. He’s here early. He stays late, and he works very hard.
"You know, some players like to work on things that they’re good at, like if you’re strong on a bench press, then you just keep throwing more weight on the bench. But, Cam is the type of player that works on things that he’s not as good at and really tries to improve on a daily basis and that is something that I really respect about him. That’s not easy for players — really any of us — to do. Look at something that we don’t feel like we’re very good at, or it is not one of our strengths, and put extra time into it. I would say that is a natural tendency to do things you’re good at. He’s worked extremely hard in all those areas.
"He’s got a great personality. He gets along with everybody. He’s very social and has a great presence, whether it is in a small room of a couple people or in a bigger group, and he’s highly competitive. He’s very, very competitive on the field. He always wants to do his best and do better than the guy he’s competing against. You see that from — everybody’s competitive — but I think there are different degrees of it and it looks like I would, based on what I’ve seen, I would put him in the top echelon of that.
"But his competition extends way beyond the field. It is off the field and in meetings and training and so forth. You know, it is important for him to be the first guy up the hill when we run sprints and it is important to him to be first in everything that he competes in and you can see the effort and the amount of energy that he puts into that. I’d say those are some of the things that have jumped out in the month or so that we have been here in person.”
Cam Newton must be working his tail off to earn praise like that from Belichick.
While Newton has yet to be named the Patriots' Week 1 starting quarterback, all signs point towards that happening.
Now we must wait and see how his efforts over the past several weeks will translate into a live game.
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