BOSTON (CBS) — The Cam Newton-New England Patriots union is three games old. Though the team’s 2-1 record reflects that not everything has gone perfectly, the words from the team’s coaching staff on Tuesday indicate that both parties remain very happy with the arrangement.
“I’ve certainly observed someone that’s truly inspired to play as well as humanly possible,” quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch told reporters via video conference. “His work ethic has been, obviously, well-documented since he’s been here. We’ve talked about it repeatedly and it’s all true. He’s here first in the morning, he’s last to leave. He’s really trying to dive deep into a playbook that has been established over a 20-year span. He’s had, I don’t know, close to maybe two months of that playbook. I guess we’re now almost [through] September. He came July 28th and it’s September 29th, so he’s done everything he can and continues to. … He’s learning, he’s doing a tremendous job at learning. I think his motivation is to be the very best he possibly can be. Each week he’s shown that he’s trying to do that.”
Newton was a popular topic of conversation on Tuesday, even after what was the least impactful performance from the quarterback. (Newton gave himself a “C” grade for his performance in Sunday’s win over the Raiders.) And the positive reviews continue to only get stronger.
“Cam’s been very consistent since I have first met Cam,” offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said. “He loves the game of football and he also loves working really hard. I have a great respect for how much time and effort he puts in to prepare himself each day for what lies ahead. He’s here early, he’s here late, he doesn’t cut any corner. He is a tremendous leader and he does a lot each day to make sure that he’s at his best the next day. … He comes in to work and he pushes his teammates. He continues to keep our group loose — we have a lot of fun, but we work really hard.
“I just know he’s an unselfish guy that wants to do whatever we ask him to do to help our team win, and I don’t think there’s anything else we can ask of him.”
Fisch said that Newton’s infusion of energy affects not just the players but the coaching staff too.
“It makes coming to work every day so much fun, because his passion is real and his enthusiasm is real and that might be a way that he gets himself motivated or others motivated,” Fisch said. “But whether or not it’s a nickname, it’s, you just know that he’s absolutely going to be working as hard as humanly possible and find different ways to get the people around him better.”
McDaniels, who obviously accumulated the bulk of his NFL experience working with Tom Brady, lauded Newton for his open communication throughout the rapid learning process that both men have been going through since Newton signed.
“Very, very enjoyable for a coach. He listens. He’s a really good listener. He communicates well. If he has a question, you always hear the question. He doesn’t hold anything in,” McDaniels said. “I have been super impressed with his humility. This guy has — he’s accomplished a lot in his career. Being 10 years in the league and doing all the things he’s done, and coming here and having no familiarity with our coaching style, our system, or the way we do things. I have been incredibly impressed with the way he’s embraced it, looks forward to it, and really, really wants to be coached, wants to be great, wants to improve. He’s a great example for a lot of our younger players. I feel very comfortable coaching him — whether it is practice, meetings, games, walkthroughs — because he is such a great listener and he takes nothing personal — which really there’s no part of coaching that is personal. It’s just about trying to correct and improve. He’s really done a nice job.”