Cam Newton: Bill Belichick ‘most misunderstood person in all of sports’
Cam Newton endured an uneven and underwhelming debut season with the New England Patriots, and the disappointing campaign has left the one-time MVP’s NFL future uncertain.
If Newton does not return to the Patriots next season, the quarterback will apparently depart with the unforgettable experience of working with Bill Belichick.
Newton and Belichick engaged in a mutual admiration society for much of the 2020 campaign. Despite the team playing to a 7-9 record, it was clear there was respect between the two as Belichick stuck with Newton despite the quarterback’s struggles.
Newton appears to have saved his most glowing praise for Belichick for the offseason. On his “I Am Athlete” podcast this week, Newton raved about Belichick and said arguably the greatest head coach in NFL history is dogged by an unfair reputation.
Cam Newton on Bill Belichick: “I think Bill Belichick is the most misunderstood person in all of sports. He dope as s**t. He is a cool dude.”— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) February 22, 2021
(via "I Am Athlete" podcast)pic.twitter.com/ahAcsuRJ3V
“This is why I love and respect — I think Bill Belichick is the most misunderstood person in all of sports,” Newton said, as transcribed by CBS Boston. “He dope as [bleep]. He dope. Like, he is a cool dude. He understands the game. He’s like a historian of the game. And for you to just sit down and chat with him, it’s like damn, he’s going back and he’s got film like, literally teaching the game.”
Newton also spoke positively about “The Patriot Way,” the supposed long-running edict through which Belichick has achieved such longstanding organizational excellence with the team. It seems that Newton might be attempting to ingratiate himself to Belichick, who will have the final say on whether the quarterback is back with New England next season.
If it were up to Newton, though, he would be the Patriots’ starting quarterback when the 2021 NFL season kicks off.
“Yes. Hell yes,” Newton said. “I’m getting tired of changing. I’m at a point in my career where I know way more than I knew last year. Now you give me [a full offseason and OTAs] … a system with me. You know what I’m saying? Like, they know me.”
Belichick has long cultivated a gruff persona and a football-only, no-nonsense approach to coaching. It was believed that Newton’s outgoing personality and carefree style would not mesh well with Belichick’s curmudgeonly ways. That does not appear to be the case.
What’s more, Newton believes there’s much more to Belichick than meets the eye. To be fair to Belichick, there have been examples over the years of the iconic head coach playing against type, so perhaps Newton is correct in his assessment of how the Patriots boss is inaccurately portrayed.