Cam Newton has filled the February NFL news void in 2021.
The former MVP quarterback has sparked numerous discussions this week touching on topics both on and off the field.
After spending the 2020 season with the New England Patriots, Newton relayed that his perception of Bill Belichick is different from that of the outside world.
"I think Bill Belichick is the most misunderstood person in all of sports. He dope as s---," Newton said on the "I Am Athlete" podcast, via ESPN's Mike Reiss.
"He is a cool dude who understands the game. He's like a historian of the game. And for you to just sit down and chat with him, it's like 'Damn!' He's going back and he's got film, literally teaching the game."
Known for his gruff responses and sometimes disheveled look during media obligations, Belichick can be one of the most illuminating coaches in sports if the right topic hits. He might grumble at questions about scheme or game planning during a week, but often a Friday morning question during the season that harkens back to his days as an assistant with the Baltimore Colts in the 1970s can elicit an eloquent and informative response worthy of a sea poem.
Likewise, some players who study under Belichick have a different perspective than outsiders. The legendary coach's style isn't for everyone, but those who buy in appreciate it.
"Bill's not cold. Nobody on that team [has] an aura where you don't want to be around him," Newton said. "Everything is geared to win, and if you're not built for that, that's not the place for you. That's not the place you want to lose, either. I learned that the hard way."
Newton noted in the same interview that his positive COVID-19 test this season threw off his game, and the Patriots went 7-9, their first losing season since 2000, the first year of Belichick's reign.
Newton has consistently said he enjoyed his year in New England and wasn't put off by the Patriot Way. The 31-year-old QB raved about not only working with Belichick but also offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
The signal-caller was emphatic when asked if he'd sign up for another year in New England.
"Yes. Hell yes! I'm getting tired of changing [teams]," Newton said.
Whether that feeling is reciprocal remains to be seen.
The Patriots have big questions to answer at quarterback this season, and Newton, after his struggles down the stretch in 2020, is out to prove he's still one of the top 32 quarterbacks in the NFL.