Bill Belichick: Cam Newton way ahead of where he was last year

When quarterback Cam Newton signed with the Patriots last year, he wasn’t able to do any in-person or on-field work with the team until training camp got underway and that was a less than ideal way to prepare to play for a new team.

Newton’s performance during the season might have been better with more time on his belt and that was one of the reasons why the Patriots opted to re-sign him this offseason. Even with a brief interruption due to a hand injury, this offseason has provided opportunities to get in the work that wasn’t possible last year and head coach Bill Belichick said on Tuesday that the benefits have been clear.

“Cam’s way ahead of where he was last year at this time, there’s no question about that,” Belichick said. “As you would expect, he has a good year of experience under his belt. He’s able to start the process at the beginning and not be in a catch-up mode like he was last year.”

Given the difference in time with the organization, it would be problematic if Newton was anywhere else at this point in the process. The key for Newton will be to remain way ahead of where he was last year into the fall or someone else might get their chance to run the offense.