The Patriots wrapped up their ninth practice at training camp on Wednesday and the two-minute Newton-led offense struggled for the second straight day. Newton said he sees the command of other quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham in these situations and needs to be up to the task.
“There are some things when I get to the line of scrimmage and it’s just not as mental shooting as I would like rather than other games that could be called,” he said. “I see a person like Hoyster going to the line and he’s as sharp as he gets. For me, ask him questions, and he answers them. Stiddy [too]. There are things I know I need to improve on. Until I do these things, everything else doesn’t matter. ”
Newton, who threw an interception on Wednesday, took a crash course last week. Coaches split reps evenly among three-quarters over the first four days of camp, but Newton has played a starring role ever since.
Quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch praised Newton’s work ethic in learning the offensive system in a month, but Newton said he still has a ways to go.
“It’s a work in progress every day for me,” he said when asked to rate his comfort level. “Every day is another day to find out more. It’s an ongoing process for me, so I don’t necessarily have a specific number. It’s more or less trying to handle this offense in a way that makes me feel comfortable. Every day is a new challenge. ”
That hasn’t stopped Newton from emerging as a leader, with coach Bill Belichick citing his forceful approach as an uplifting presence.
“I think that’s Cam’s personality,” Belichick said. “You see that in the morning on your way to the team meeting or the training ground or the dining hall or whatever. ”
Newton said this type of approach was important to him, helping to set a standard.
“Even though we can have a lackluster day offensively, it’s just my job as one of the default leaders in my position to make sure everyone knows we have to get better. We need to hold each other accountable, ”he said.
It starts with itself.
“I hold myself responsible more than anything else. I’m going through a code and sticking to the code – if you say something to someone, you better make sure you keep in check as well. That’s what I’m trying to get done, ”he says.