By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Over the course of his near-50-year tenure as an NFL coach and his 21 years as Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick has been described by many people in many different ways. Some have referred to him as a genius. Others may have referred to him as surly. Still others have used some words that aren’t fit for print.READ MORE: 800 Nurses At St. Vincent Hospital In Worcester Preparing To Strike
Despite being described every which way under the sun, Belichick’s never quite been described like this: “He dope as [bleep].”
That’s how Cam Newton summed up his head coach from 2020, when speaking on a podcast with Brandon Marshall, Chad Johnson and Fred Taylor.
“This is why I love and respect — I think Bill Belichick is the most misunderstood person in all of sports,” Newton said. “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.”
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.”
(via "I Am Athlete" podcast)pic.twitter.com/ahAcsuRJ3V
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) February 22, 2021
The long conversation covered a number of topics, but the discussion often veered back to “The Patriot Way” and what that vague term actually means.READ MORE: Miscommunication Between State, COVID Vaccine Site In Danvers Leaves Some Without Appointments
“There’s a real thing when they say the New England Way, the Patriot Way,” Newton said. “It’s an aura where, bro, you’re a machine! Like literally. … You have to compartmentalize your feelings, compartmentalize your personal life, compartmentalize everything to enhance your mental stamina. Enhance your mental stamina. They don’t — it doesn’t matter about it’s 8 o’clock at night. We have to watch film. We have to get these certain things done.”
Newton said that the work ethic was not an issue for him, as evidenced by his daily wake-up time, and that he was not complaining when he spoke about the work required in Foxboro.
“Nobody on that team has that aura where you do not want to be around ’em. It’s … everything is geared to win. And if you’re not built for that, that’s not the place for you,” Newton said. “And I’ll say this: that’s not the place where you want to lose, either. And I found that out the hard way.”
Despite the up-and-down season and his 7-8 record as the starting quarterback, Newton seemed eager to get another year with the Patriots, even if that meant signing another one-year deal.
“Yes. Hell yes,” he said when asked if he’d go back to New England in 2021. “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.”
Newton added that the offense was a constant work in progress, as Josh McDaniels, Belichick, and everyone else involved with the operation worked to move on from Tom Brady after his two decades under center.
“We’re still trying to flush out the 20 years of how it used to be. And I’m going in and I’m saying, ‘Well that’s not me,'” Newton explained. “There were still times where I was like, ‘Coach, use me.’ Like, ‘Use me, bro.’ … And that’s why, you’re asking me would I go back. Yes I would go back, because now he knows.”
It remains unknown whether Newton will get that chance to advance the offense in a second year. But for now, the man in charge of making that decision can walk with a little extra confidence, knowing that he can slap a brand new tag on his business cards,MORE NEWS: Skier Seriously Injured After Crashing Into Building At Nashoba Valley
Bill Belichick. Head coach of the New England Patriots. Dope as [bleep].