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New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton is no stranger to criticism but instead of letting it affect his game for the worse, he thrives off it.
Newton told quarterback coach George Whitfield Jr., with whom he’s been training throughout the offseason, during an Instagram Live session that he deals with the “haters” by not dwelling on what they have to say.
“Feed your focus,” Newton said, via the Boston Herald. “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.”
He continued: “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.”
Coach Bill Belichick has maintained that Newton will be the starting quarterback heading into this season but that doesn’t shut the door for rookie Mac Jones or backup Jarret Stidham.
“Cam’s our quarterback,” Belichick said after drafting Jones. “Whatever position, whatever time Jarrett or Mac are ready to challenge and compete, then we’ll see how that goes.”
Even before Jones joined the roster, Belichick said this season will be a better opportunity for Newton to showcase his abilities.
“Cam’s way ahead of where he was last year at this time, there’s no question about that,” Belichick said. “As you would expect, he has a good year of experience under his belt, he’s able to start the process at the beginning and not be in a catch-up mode like he was last year.”
Newton signed a one-year deal worth up to $14 million in March after a season where the Patriots went 7-9. He totaled 2,657 passing yards for just eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions and ran for 592 yards and 12 touchdowns.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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