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Bill Belichick's first practice impression of Cam Newton: 'He's a hard-working kid'

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Bill Belichick is notoriously tight-lipped about, well — anything revelatory regarding the New England Patriots.

So when he addressed his assessment of Cam Newton by name on Friday, it drew some attention. Even if it involved the slightest of praise.

First-year Patriot Newton started the week behind team veterans Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham in the quarterback practice rotation. Belichick had this to say Friday morning when asked about his performance in practice.

‘He’s worked very hard’

“We've done a lot of meetings, a lot of walkthroughs," Belichick said, per NBC Sports Boston. “A lot of information has been transferred to all the players. He's worked very hard, I'd say, as all our players have. We have a hard-working group. Those guys are ready to go, and we've put in some long days. They've been very attentive during the process.”

Belichick then rambled on about how “locked in” and “focused” the entire quarterback group is before addressing Newton again.

“But again, we haven't played anywhere near the speed we're going to be playing at so we'll see how it all comes together at that point,” Belichick continued. “But Cam's a hard-working kid. He really is.”

Bill Belichick heaped the slightest of praise on his new quarterback Friday. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Bill Belichick heaped the slightest of praise on his new quarterback Friday. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

“Hard-working kid.”

It’s an odd assessment of a 31-year-old, nine-year NFL veteran. But it’s on par for Belichick. And the fact that he’s publicly hanging any sort of praise on Newton is a sign that things are off to a good start in the early weeks of the post-Tom Brady era.

Will Newton start Week 1?

The NFL preseason was supposed to start on Thursday before it was canceled amid the league’s COVID-19 negotiations with the player’s union. The public’s first look at Newton under center in New England will have to wait.

For now we’re dependent on practice reports for glimpses at Newton’s progress as he operates in what’s being billed as a quarterback competition. Most expect the three-time Pro Bowler and former MVP to emerge on top.

So ... so far, so good?

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