BOSTON (CBS) — Bill Belichick and Cam Newton. It’s not really the coach-QB marriage that many predicted in New England after the Tom Brady era ended, but here we are, heading into the 2020 season with the grumpy coach and the charismatic quarterback.
Will it work? That’s the question most have been wondering since Newton signed a one-year, incentive laden deal with New England. And one of Newton’s former teammates, one who also happens to have some experience playing under Belichick, has his doubts.
Nose tackle Kyle Love started his NFL career under Belichick, and then played six seasons in Carolina with Newton. Speaking with the Boston Herald’s Andrew Callahan, Love isn’t sold on Newton being a great fit in New England under Belichick.
“This is just my opinion, but I don’t feel like Cam can take the pressure of coaches talking down about his play,” Love told the Herald. “If he had a bad game in Carolina, the coaching staff wouldn’t say much to him because they may have felt he could be a little frail about it or maybe pout. They never really corrected to the point Bill used to correct Tom.”
Belichick never shied away from criticizing Brady, whether it was on the field at practice, during a game, or even in his press conferences. He was also extremely complimentary to the quarterback that won six Super Bowls over his career in New England, but those victories never spared Brady from feeling Belichick’s wrath. The head coach would treat his quarterback the same way he treated the last man on the roster.
For the most part, Brady took it in stride. Soon enough, we’ll see if Newton can do the same. He’s in New England after serving as the face of the Carolina franchise for nine years, a former superstar No. 1 pick, but is now on a prove-it-to-me deal with the Patriots after injuries ravaged his last few seasons. In addition to showing the world he can still be one of the NFL’s top quarterbacks, Newton is going to have to handle Belichick’s gruff coaching style.
Likewise, Belichick is going to have to handle Newton’s style, both on the field and off it. Brady may have upped his social media game his last few season in New England, but it was nothing compared to what Newton sends out on a regular basis.
Love is hoping for the best for both his former quarterback and former head coach. But like just about everyone out there at the moment, he doesn’t know if it will work in the end.
“Being a professional in New England is different from being a professional in Carolina. It’s a whole different ballgame,” said Love. “Bill wants things run a certain way, wants things practiced a certain way and said a certain way in the classroom and in the media. New England is not for everybody. Every player does not fit will there physically or mentally.
“My fear is, can Cam fit in their box? Because I want Cam to win. I want Cam to be successful. I want to see him win games and even a championship, because I love that dude,” he added. “I just hope he can do that within the guidelines of what Bill wants.”