Greg Olsen on Cam Newton signing with New England:
"My head popped off when I saw how much he signed for. It's the all-time greatest deal.
"I'm the biggest Cam Newton advocate out there. He's been amazing, not only for my career but so many other guys that had the opportunity to play with him the last eight or nine years in Carolina. ...
“New England is going to find out pretty quick what a special competitor he is. And he's going to be just fine."
Olsen on the pairing of Newton and Bill Belichick:
“From talking to guys that have played in New England, I think the public persona of Bill is one thing, and I’m sure there’s truth to some of that. I think behind closed doors he understands what each of his players individually needs. The support they need, the space they might need at times to bring out their best. If you look across Belichick’s coaching career, he’s coached a lot of different styles.
“The one thing he’s going to learn about Cam is no one wants to win more than him, nobody’s gonna come every day and practice harder and train harder and prepare better. The things that Cam does so well are pretty much that whole ‘Patriot Way’ of everything is about winning. Cam is going to check all those boxes, so I don’t think they’re going to have any issues on that front.
“Is he going to dress different after the game than some of the other quarterbacks? Of course. Cam is his own person. But never at any moment does it ever take away his willingness and his preparation to go out there and win first and foremost. I think that would resonate with all coaches around the league, not just in New England.”
The Red Sox are about to start the season. The Bruins and Celtics are days away. The guy I used to write a bi-monthly column for in a free newspaper filled with fake ads that he delivered to sidewalk boxes and bars around Boston in an Astrovan is having one-on-one time with the Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful military in world history. It's a Friday in July and I'm working on my back deck in a bathing suit and about to crack the first of dozens of beers. And yet nothing, but nothing has got me as excited as next week's start of Patriots training camp.
And so these comments from Greg Olsen could not have come at a better time. Especially coming from the guy who knows what it's like to run routes for Newton better than any man on Earth. Who produced three straight seasons of 77 or more receptions and 1,000-plus yards. Who's hauled in 35 of Newton's 182 career passing touchdowns, or just over 19%. Who's worked with Newton, trained with him, shared a huddle with him, blocked for him and ran routes for him. Who understands the hats and the scarves are just flair, and are not in anyway to be mistaken for him not sharing Belichick's insatiable desire to snap your neck and take everything you've worked for away from you.
Not that I've doubted it for a second. Belichick signed Newton to "the all-time greatest deal" because he could. And because it represented a tremendous talent addition to his roster for virtually nothing. And as far as how he dresses, it couldn't be less relevant if he comes to the podium in a Brooks Brothers suit or dressed like a Golden Girl as long as the questions are all about the game they just won. And like I've said before, we've got about 19 years of experience when it comes to quarterbacks with an appreciation for fashion-forward clothing, elaborate hats and unique individual hairstyles. So all that is a non-issue.
What does matter is what happens when QBs report. I'll never wish a summer weekend away but I cannot wait. Thanks, Greg Olsen. We owe you one.