Just by watching how the reps have been split over the last week or so of Patriots training camp practices, it would seem like Cam Newton is in line to be the starter.
The former MVP seen the most reps almost every day, especially when it comes to 11-on-11 work, but when asked Wednesday if he considers himself the starter, Newton said no and that label is the last thing he's worried about.
“Absolutely not," he said via video conference. "Every day is a work day for me. That label is not important to me right now. I have so much I need to get better at, so much that I need to learn, so much that I need to be comfortable with. Throughout this process, that is the last thing I am pretty much worried about knowing that there are certain things when I come to the line of scrimmage and it is just not firing mentally as I would want it to rather than other plays that may be called.
"I see a person like Hoyster (Brian Hoyer) go to the line and he’s just as sharp as he can be. From me asking him questions and him answering them, and Stiddy and things like that, there’s things that I know I need to become better at. Until I get those things done, everything else is irrelevant.”
Newton has had his ups and downs so far, but that is to be expected considering he just joined the organization in early July. The important thing is he's shown signs of getting better each day and that is the only thing he can do.
While he did not admit it, everything seems to be trending towards him being the starter, especially with Jarrett Stidham dealing with a reported hip injury.
Earlier in the day, Belichick said Newton is picking things up well.
"Specifically for Cam, he's worked very hard, picked things up well," he said. "Of course, Stid [Jarrett Stidham] and Brian [Hoyer] have a little more experience in the system. Cam obviously has more playing experience. So, we'll see how all that plays out, but I think we're ready to, I would say, move forward from an execution standpoint. As I said, schematically, we're far enough along here where we have plenty of football in to play a game and to play in everything but maybe a couple of the last play of the game type of situations. But other than that, we have a lot to play with. We'll just have to see how well we can perform and perform against the competitive situation on the other side of the ball with our defense and vice versa."
Knowing how Belichick operates, he will likely not name a starter until as close to Sept. 13 against Miami as possible.