Entrenched in a quarterback battle with Mac Jones, incumbent New England Patriots signal-caller Cam Newton continues his offseason work with QB coach George Whitfield Jr. during the summer break ahead of training camp in late July.
Whitfield asked Newton several questions posted on the trainer's Instagram Live feed during downtime in their workouts. One question was how Newton manages to battle through the hate spewed his way.
"Simple," Newton said, per Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald. "Feed your focus. Feed it. If the hate ain't in my focus, I don't feed it. I feed off of it, but I don't feed it. It's two different things. When I sense or when I dwell on hatred, that's the product that's gonna come out: rage, anger. But that's the hatred using me, not me using the hatred. So I want to process that and make that fuel me. I don't dwell on what a person may say, what this person may say, she say, I just use it to my advantage, and I feed what I want it to feed."
Newton is used to dealing with "haters." As one of the most polarizing quarterbacks since he entered the league, the former NFL MVP has had to deal with irrational hostility for most of his career. And yet, he persists.
As NFL Network's Mike Giardi expertly laid out this week, Newton will enter training camp in a true battle with the first-round rookie Jones for the Patriots' starting quarterback gig.
For Newton, winning the job entails continuing to work on his mechanics and conditioning with Whitfield. He said succeeding starts with envisioning the goal.
"You gotta visualize yourself already there. Get your mental thought of being in that moment and taking your place there," Newton said. "And once you get there, find so much distress that you can gutter up and feel comfortable in it. Whenever that is. And that's how you grind. You know what I'm saying? Just take your mind to that place, stay there, get uncomfortable, and be comfortable with being in that position."
Come training camp, we'll see if Newton fends off Jones and retains the starting quarterback gig to begin the 2021 season.