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Bill Belichick: Cam Newton's 'way ahead of where he was last year at this time'

6/15/2021 8:31:54 PM
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Through a good portion of last season -- his first with the New England Patriots -- Cam Newton struggled mightily.

That written, there were plenty of factors facing the 2015 AP NFL Most Valuable Player and longtime face of the Carolina Panthers. Not the least of which was the lack of a normal offseason and training camp to prepare Newton for his first year with the Patriots.

Thus far, Newton's way head of the curve in comparison to a season ago according to his head coach and himself, Grant Gordon of reports.

"Cam [Newton]'s way ahead of where he was last year at this time. There's no question about that," Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said Tuesday morning, via team transcript. "I mean, as you would expect, he has a good year of experience under his belt and he's able to start the process at the beginning and not be in a catch-up mode like he was last year. I mean, he was really just starting at this point last season, but he's well ahead of that just from the year of experience and from the succession of building blocks that he's been able to stack up, like all the players have that have been here since the start of the OTA and the offseason program back in April, that they've been able to stack those days and those learning experiences together, ask questions on things that they need clarification on and build to the next level when they're ready to put another brick on the pile."

At the onset of his first campaign in Boston, Newton emerged as a reminder of the force and transcendent talent he was during his best seasons in Carolina. He had six total touchdowns over his first three games with 397 yards through the air against the Seahawks in Week 2. Following a bout with COVID-19, though, Newton's play fell drastically, as his accuracy was woeful and his struggles piled up.

Newton ended his initial campaign in New England and out of Carolina with eight touchdown passes, 10 interceptions and a career-low 177.1 yards per-contest passing -- though he did have 12 touchdowns on the ground.

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