Based on reports out of New England coupled with Jarrett Stidham's hip issue, Cam Newton appears to be pulling away in the competition for starting quarterback duties.
The former NFL MVP, however, isn't worried about earning that label right now. Asked Wednesday if he felt like he'd won the starter gig, Newton didn't hesitate.
"Absolutely not," Newton replied, via Mass Live. "Every day is a workday for me, and that label is not important to me right now because I know I have so much that I need to get better at, so much that I need to learn, so much that I need to be comfortable with. And throughout this process, that's the last thing that I'm pretty much worried about. Knowing that there are certain things when I come to the line of scrimmage and it's just not as firing, mentally, as I would want it to be, rather than other plays that may be called.
"I see a person like (Brian Hoyer) go to the line, and he's just as sharp as it can be. From me asking him questions and he answered them and (Jarrett Stidham) and things like that, there's things that I know I need to become better at. And until I get those things done, everything else is irrelevant."
NFL Network's Mike Giardi reported that while Stidham was healthy enough to participate in 7-on-7s and 11-on-11s when they ran the ball but did not throw the pigskin. Newton, meanwhile, doubled up Brian Hoyer's reps. Newton hasn't been flawless though, struggling at times with accuracy -- something he dealt with while going through foot and shoulder injuries the past two years -- or efficient, per Giardi.
Before worrying about being named the starter, Newton is first focusing on getting the offense down. He called working with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and QB coach Jedd Fisch "therapeutic."
"Just knowing that these guys have been as patient throughout this process (as) I would have wanted them to be," he said. "Obviously, learning a 20-year installment of plays, all in a short time span, has been challenging.
"But yet, I think it would have been more challenging if you didn't have the tutelage of a Jedd, the tutelage of a coach Josh and Jedd, and even the other quarterbacks. (Brian) Lewerke's helped me. Stiddy has helped me. Hoyster has helped me. Receivers have helped me. It's just been going back and forth.
"And obviously, there's been some things that haven't been implemented before with me at the quarterback position. At times, there is a dissertation, so to speak, of, 'This is how we're expecting it to be.' OK, now Cam -- they flip it and say, 'Well, how are you expecting it to be?' And I'll say the same thing when we're in quarterback meetings."
Newton is the frontrunner for the QB job. He likely knows it, which is why he isn't worried about titles. Unless he collapses or something unforeseen happens, the starting job for Week 1, which kicks off in 17 days, should be Newton's. Don't expect the Pats to rush to declare Newton the winner, however. Bill Belichick will do that in his own time.