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Bill Belichick won’t confirm Cam Newton has won starting job

Bill Belichick unsurprisingly played things close to the vest when asked Friday to confirm reports that Cam Newton has locked down the starting quarterback spot.

Sources stated Thursday that not only was Newton named the starter but that he also was elected as a team captain.

Belichick declined to confirm the veracity of that reporting during a virtual news conference Friday morning.

“We’re not naming any starters at any positions,” said Belichick, cutting off the question, per the Boston Herald. “Any conversations I have with the team will stay between me and the team. But we’re not naming any roster starters, or positions, or who’s on the team or anything else like that . . . sorry, I’m going to have to by-pass that one.”

In essence, Belichick did not so much deny that Newton is the starting quarterback, not to mention team captain. He just wasn’t about to confirm it.

The Patriots head coach, however, did add that Newton “looks ready to go” before adding that the players made “good selections” for captains.

Belichick has consistently praised Newton throughout training camp, heralding the former MVP’s strong work ethic and commitment to his craft this week, saying, “Nobody works harder than Cam does.”

Newton immediately became the prohibitive favorite to be anointed the Patriots’ starting quarterback over Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer after signing with the team in July. He has maintained his trademark looseness and outgoing personality at practices despite the belief that Belichick conceivably would frown upon Newton’s free-spirited style.

Newton of course arrived on the Patriots with an sizable chip on his shoulder after languishing in free agency following his release by the Carolina Panthers. His desire to prove his doubters wrong appears to have translated to outstanding play on the practice field.

Belichick obviously is always tight-lipped with the media, so his reticence Friday to anoint Newton as the team’s starting QB plays to type.

That being said, it will be a shock if Newton isn’t under center in Week 1 on Sept. 13 when the Patriots host the Miami Dolphins to kick off the 2020 NFL season.