In isolation, no one can take issue with Cam Newton’s and Bill Belichick’s respective talent levels; the quarterback won the 2015 NFL MVP, while the head coach has turned the New England Patriots into a modern dynasty. On a personal level, though, the two men seem quite different. At least one former player believes that could lead to some tensions in Foxborough.
During his time in the NFL, Kyle Love played for both the New England Patriots and the Carolina Panthers. Based on his experience with both parties, he’s concerned that the Patriots’ new odd couple won’t be able to find common ground.
Cam Newton and Bill Belichick seem like an NFL odd couple
Given the importance of their respective roles, you want your head coach and starting quarterback to be on the same page. While we’ll have to see what unfolds during their first season together, Cam Newton and Bill Belichick don’t exactly seem cut from the same cloth.
During his time in Carolina, Newton didn’t solely make headlines with his on-field performances. The quarterback gained notoriety for his pre and postgame outfits; he also made sexist comments toward a report and, on multiple occasions, was described as “pouting” by outlets like the Sporting News.
Since leaving the Panthers, Cam has continued to speak his mind. If you look at his Instagram feed, you’ll find plenty of insight into the quarterback’s mind and motivations. On one occasion, he said he was felt like he was left to die; in another, he used an iconic Game of Thrones speech to show he was ready to “fight every battle” in 2020.
Belichick, on the other hand, is famously dour. While he’s apparently a bit different behind the scenes, the veteran coach doesn’t appear to have any time for pleasantries or fashion-forward choices. He simply shows up to the office, does what it takes to win on Sunday, and starts over again for the next week.
Can Cam Newton handle his new coach’s criticism?
While we may feel like we ‘know’ Cam Newton and Bill Belichick, we only see what they choose to show the public. According to Kyle Love, who has played for both the Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots, their differences really do exist.
The defensive lineman believes that issues could arise from the Belichick and Newton’s different approaches to criticism. While the Patriots coach has no problem letting his players have it, Love isn’t sure how Cam would respond to that sort of criticism.
“This is just my opinion, but I don’t feel like Cam can take the pressure of coaches talking down about his play. If he had a bad game in Carolina, the coaching staff wouldn’t say much to him because they may have felt he could be a little frail about it or maybe pout,” Love told Andrew Callahan of the Boston Herald. “They never really corrected to the point Bill used to correct Tom.”
Bill Belichick will still appreciate one aspect of his quarterback’s game
For their apparent differences, Bill Belichick and Cam Newton should still see eye-to-eye on one specific point: winning football games.
If you listen to former Panthers, Cam is more than willing to put in the work behind the scenes. Greg Olsen has talked about Newton’s leadership abilities; Marshall Newhouse, who also spent time in both Carolina and New England, told Callahan about the quarterback’s fierce work ethic.
At the end of the day, Bill Belichick’s ultimate job is to win football games. We also know that Cam Newton will enter the season with a chip on his shoulder; he’ll want to prove everyone wrong and earn a big-money contract next year. If both men are as good as their resumes say they are, they should be able to put aside their differences and work toward that common goal.