Gene Chizik weighs in on Cam Newton’s fit with the Patriots
The perception in some circles is that Cam Newton isn’t a good fit for the New England Patriots, but the quarterback’s college coach believes the former MVP will have no trouble carving out his own niche in Bill Belichick’s notoriously rigid system.
Former Auburn Tigers head coach Gene Chizik recently weighed in on Newton joining the Patriots, and his experience coaching the quarterback — which included a 2011 BCS National Championship game victory that capped a season in which Newton won the Heisman Trophy — leads him to believe Newton will be just fine.
“When Cam gets into the building, he’s all business, he’s a football dude,” Chizik said during an appearance on SiriusXM’s ESPNU radio, as transcribed by 247Sports. “He loves it, he eats it up, he studies the game — it matters to him. So, he’ll adapt and adjust. What [Patriots head coach] Bill [Belichick] wants — he wants a guy to come into the building and is all football. How he cares about the way he dresses and what he wears — I don’t know. Now, Cam will be on point in the messaging. Whatever Bill’s message is, he will make it clear that is the expectation for what Cam’s message is.”
Chizik went on to say that signing Newton would be a “win-win” for the Patriots and that “it’s going to work better than most people think.”
Some talking heads on Boston sports talk radio recently expressed skepticism about Newton’s fit with New England and whether the charismatic quarterback would be able to fall in line with the “Patriot Way.” The hot take was widely panned.
What’s arguably of the utmost importance is how Newton appears to have a chip on his shoulder after languishing on the market for so long.
In an Instagram post in which Newton responds to criticism of the less-than-lucrative terms of his contract with the Patriots, the former MVP pushed back on all the chatter.
“It’s not about money for me; it’s about respect,” Newton wrote in his patented unique text formatting.
It remains to be seen whether Newton can usurp Jarrett Stidham and claim the Patriots’ starting quarterback spot, although many believe it’s likely.
Either way, the Patriots had nothing to lose by signing Newton, who appears hellbent on restoring his reputation as one of the most feared quarterbacks in the NFL. Whether or not that comes to fruition remains to be seen, but Newton is simply looking for the opportunity to do so.