Cam Newton: Replacing Tom Brady is ‘the elephant in the room’
Cam Newton has understandably admitted that the prospect of replacing an NFL legend in Tom Brady on the New England Patriots brings some semblance of pressure.
Newton this week characterized succeeding Brady as the “the elephant in the room” as he gets acclimated to his new team. However, the former MVP appears to be taking on the daunting challenge with brimming confidence.
Newton relayed as much in his remarks during a recent roundtable discussion on YouTube with Cleveland Browns receiver Odell Beckham Jr., Atlanta Falcons running back Todd Gurley and former NFL receiver Victor Cruz.
“You know who [you’re] coming after? I’m like, yeah, great. What he was, what he is, is great, needs no even talking about it,” Newton said, as transcribed by Mike Reiss of ESPN. “But one thing about it though: Coach [Josh] McDaniels, you’re able to call some stuff that you ain’t ever been able to call now.”
There has been some speculation that Newton isn’t a good fit for the Patriots. The concerns expressed by skeptics primarily revolve around whether Newton’s outsized personality would be a fit with Bill Belichick’s notoriously rigid system.
“I said, ‘Hold on, how’s me and Belichick going to mesh?’ Because it’s like perception,” Newton said of a conversation with his agent once the Patriots expressed interest in signing him.
What’s arguably of the utmost importance, however, is not these kind of hypotheticals about Newton fitting in. Instead, it’s how Newton appears to have a chip on his shoulder after languishing on the market for so long.
“You’re getting a dog. You’re getting one of these ticked off dogs, too,” Newton said. “And I’m looking at the schedule and I’m like ‘Who we’re playing? That team passed on me! OK, that team passed on me. They could’ve came and got me.'”
It remains to be seen whether Newton can usurp Jarrett Stidham and claim the Patriots’ starting quarterback spot, although the odds of doing so are in his favor. What’s more, Newton does not appear concerned about stepping up and replacing a quarterback many herald as the greatest to have ever played the game.