Patriots

NFL Notebook: Cam Newton better bring more than energy to this Patriots team & more roster thoughts

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A big storyline during this Patriots training camp: What kind of energy is Cam Newton bringing to the Patriots?

Player X, is it energizing to you?
Hey Bill, what do you think about Cam's energy ... are you going to start dancing too?
Coaches, what about the energy Cam brings to the meeting rooms?
Those are some cool handshakes he's got...

Wait a minute .. what kind of bizarro Boston sports market am I in?

Since when did the predominant talking point about a player — nevermind at a crucial spot like quarterback — start with anything other than what said player was going to bring between the white lines? When did we start caring about the energy a certain player brought to one of our teams? They're playing team sports, not part of a spirit squad.

Did anyone care what kind of energy Larry Bird brought to the locker room? What kind of teammate was Ted Williams? I have no idea, but I know he could hit the crap out of the ball. Was Tom Brady's ascension in 2001 about the vibe he brought to the locker room or the way he interacted with his teammates, or was it because he took care of the ball and showed an uncanny ability to come through in the clutch? Bobby Orr transformed hockey in this region, yet he was iconic for what he did on the ice as he barely said a word off it.

"I have never run into any player who brings the intensity that he brought," Harry Sinden, who spent 45 years as a coach or front office executive, told SI. "His silence, his looks, were enough to tell you if he didn't like what was happening. And he made the rest of us the same way. You could not be around him without feeling that and getting inline."

For those who consumed The Last Dance on ESPN, what kind of energy did Michael Jordan brings to the Bulls' locker room on his way to winning six titles?

You could make the argument that David Ortiz, and even Pedro Martinez, changed the vibe around the Red Sox. But we all know that group wasn't breaking any curse if Ortiz couldn't bat his weight, or if Martinez was throwing meatballs like John Wasdin.

Energy doesn't matter. Production does.

And, man, does this Patriots team need Newton to be Superman on the field, not Bruno Mars in the locker room.

Because of that, I say, please, for the love of all that is holy, bring on the games so we can have a real discourse about Newton The Patriot. Because to this point, despite the media having at least some access to 12 practices, that has not happened.

Look, if you were out at the camp practices, the storyline about this Patriots offense would be,