Patriots WR Julian Edelman credited Cam Newton for bringing the energy to an empty Gillette Stadium in Week 3.
Gillette Stadium is widely regarded as one of the NFL’s best home field advantages, and rightfully so, as the Patriots are nearly impossible to beat when they play there. In fact, they own the league’s best overall winning percentage since it opened back in 2002.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, however, it won’t be easy to replicate that success this season as the Patriots have yet to permit fans inside Gillette through two home games thus far. That includes Sunday’s convincing 36-20 win over the Raiders.
For most teams — yes, even one coached by Bill Belichick — playing in front of zero fans would make it difficult to muster motivation throughout any given game. However, the Patriots seemingly haven’t felt those effects yet.
Cam Newton deserves most of the credit for that. According to Julian Edelman, the 31-year-old quarterback has been “outstanding at getting the energy up, especially without having fans.”
Here’s Edelman’s full quote from after the win:
“I mean, he’s a very energetic guy. He leads in a different way than I’ve … you know, I’ve been … everyone leads in their own way. And it’s been awesome to see another way. And Cam’s been awesome at getting guys and getting the energy up. Especially without having fans, you know? It’s a different — it’s just so different out there without the crowd and the noise. But I’ll tell you right now, number one, he brings that energy, he brings that confidence, that swag, and it trickles off to everyone in the huddle.”
To think that Newton served as a consistent source of energy while having an admittedly off night under center further proves that he’s one of the leaders in the Patriots’ locker room and is a perfect fit with the team. For the game, the three-time Pro Bowler finished 17-of-28 for 162 yards, one touchdown, and an ugly-looking interception near the end of the first quarter.
However, Newton didn’t need to be spectacular as the Patriots’ backfield led the way by totaling 250 yards on 38 rushes, which is good for a staggering 6.6 yards per carry. The former No. 1 overall pick was surprisingly hindered with his legs as well, chipping in 27 yards on nine totes.
When you take his play, leadership and professionalism since signing with the Patriots late in the offseason into consideration, it’s clear Newton has earned the respect of his teammates and coaching staff. Edelman’s comments confirm the former MVP is one of the prominent voices in the locker room and fans can expect that to continue for the remainder of the campaign.
It’s so awesome knowing that this guy is our quarterback.