The New England Patriots practiced in pads for the first time today. Footage of Cam Newton in Patriots gear made the rounds on the internet. We can confirm that Newton is definitely still a very large man.
This has sparked discussion, yet again, about Newton's place within the hierarchy of the Patriots' QB room. Bill Belichick is certainly not going to give any answers, so any talk about Newton starting or not starting will be speculation until he's listed on the depth chart in the hours before New England's Week 1 matchup in September.
That didn't stop Emmanuel Acho from positing his own theories on Belichick's view of Newton on Speak For Yourself today. On Friday, Belichick said Newton was a "hard-working kid," during a press conference. Acho took this praise as an indictment on Newton because of the use of the word "kid."
I love me a good hot take as much as the next guy, but I mean, seriously? The Patriots' whole thing is that nobody is given anything. Not naming Newton the starter outright is simply a reflection of that. Digging into the particular verbiage of Bill Belichick, of all people, to find any meaning is a fool's errand. Comparing how he spoke about Tom Brady, his coworker for 20 years, to how he speaks about Newton, who has been in New England for all of two months, is even more so.
Belichick is also 68. He's right around the age where everyone who hasn't suffered a midlife crisis is a kid to him. Let's cool the jets.