For whatever reason (and it doesn’t have to be a nefarious reason), Bill Belichick did not go out of his way to praise Cam Newton while speaking with reporters Wednesday morning.
Josh McDaniels was a different story.
The Patriots offensive coordinator was asked about his thoughts on the release of Newton, whose career in New England was a strange, nuanced one. McDaniels’ remarks reinforced what we already knew: That Newton was beloved inside the Patriots locker room.
Here are his full comments:
“Yeah, those days are never easy. I understand there’s certainly a business side of our game and tough decisions are always part of this time of the year and again our job is really to focus on the things that we can control and do moving forward with the players that are here. But there’s no question that there’s a relationship. that you develop with the players that you work with, and you know I’ve been around a while and I’ve seen some really good people, good players released or traded or what have you.
“It happens every year and in this particular case, I have a tremendous amount of respect for him as a player. A tremendous amount of respect for him as a human being, as a person. And he knows how I feel about him. And the time that we were able to spend together, I think he did everything he could that we asked him to do to try to help us win and help us prepare this year to improve. And for that I’m very grateful and appreciative of all the things he did, all the work he put in. You know and hopefully you build a relationship that will last well beyond football. And I believe that’s the case here.”
McDaniels and Belichick also both talked about rookie quarterback Mac Jones, with varying degrees of candor.
Jones, the 15th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, currently is line to start Week 1 against the Miami Dolphins.
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