Cam Newton 'Absolutely' Does Not Feel Like Patriots' Starting QB Yet

Blake SchusterAnalyst IIAugust 26, 2020

New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton (1) winds up for a pass during an NFL football training camp practice, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, Pool)
Steven Senne/Associated Press

Cam Newton continues to embrace the underdog role as he works through training camp with the New England Patriots

The former Carolina Panthers quarterback says he doesn't feel like he's the Pats' starter yet despite mostly working with the first-team offense.

"Absolutely not. Every day is a workday for me. That label is not important to me right now," Newton told reporters. "I have so much I need to get better at, so much I need to learn, so much I need to be comfortable with. Throughout this process, that's the last thing that I'm pretty much worried about."

Newton has approached this season with extra motivation since the Panthers released him after nine years with the franchise. The 2015 MVP then had to wait months to find a new team—and sign for a $1.75 million, incentive-laden deal at that.

Ahead of training camp, Newton posted an Instagram video in which he told fans "what makes this s--t different is they ain't never seen this Cam." That followed an earlier post in which Newton said he was over being humble.

His coaches have praised the quarterback since camp started. 

"He's an extremely hard-working player; first guy in, last guy out," Bill Belichick said Monday on The Rich Eisen Show. "He's studied hard and has spent a lot of extra time learning the offense. I've been very impressed with that. He's a very skilled athlete."

Newton is also trying to learn from where other quarterbacks in New England's camp have succeeded, saying:

"There are certain things when I come to the line of scrimmage and it's just not as firing mentally as I would want it to be rather than other plays that may be called. I see a person like [Brian Hoyer] go to the line and he's as sharp as can be. For me, asking him questions, and he answers them. [Jarrett Stidham too]. There are things I know I need to become better at. Until I get those things done, everything else is irrelevant."

Newton said he's a "work in progress" every day in practice. He's still learning the playbook, still getting used to new teammates and still striving for success. 

If he can do all that, Newton won't have to worry about winning the starting battle. He'll have already won it.