Morning sports update: A former NFL player’s straightforward advice for how Cam Newton can ‘mesh’ with Bill Belichick

"A lot of coaches talk about holding you accountable, Bill holds you accountable."

Cam Newton
Cam Newton in 2019. AP Photo/Mike McCarn, File

The effect of the coronavirus pandemic continues to be felt across the sports world, with the announcement on Wednesday that the 2020 edition of the Head of the Charles Regatta was cancelled.

The news comes after other annual Boston sporting events, like the Boston Marathon, have also been either postponed or cancelled in the unprecedented circumstances.

Louis Riddick’s take on Cam Newton and Bill Belichick: In a recent roundtable talk with other past and present NFL players, the topic of how newly-signed Patriots quarterback Cam Newton will work with Bill Belichick was brought up for discussion.

Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., one of those in the roundtable, said he doesn’t think it will be an issue.


“There is no ‘How is this going to work?’” said Beckham. “For me, all [Belichick] wants to do is put you in a place to succeed. And I’m happy to see it.”

On a recent segment for ESPN’s “Get Up!”, former NFL safety Louis Riddick — who played for Belichick with the Browns from 1993-1995 — had a strong response about how Newton and Belichick might “mesh.”

“‘What do you mean, how are we going to mesh?'” Riddick said, imitating Belichick. “‘I’m Bill Belichick, this is my team, this is my squad. You ever heard this mantra? Just do your job. That’s how we’ll mesh.'”


“Having played for Bill, it is not — I repeat, it is not — for everyone,” Riddick admitted. “He puts pressure on you in a way which you have never seen before. A lot of coaches talk about holding you accountable, Bill holds you accountable. Bill makes you question whether or not this profession is really for you, and you will find out exactly how good you can possibly be with him.”

Riddick noted that he thinks Newton will simply have to keep himself focused on learning New England’s system and working consistently in training camp.

“There won’t be any excuses after that, so don’t ask how you and him are going to mesh, just ask how you can do your job so you can stay on that roster,” said Riddick. “That’s really what it is. He doesn’t care about your resume, he doesn’t care about your past accolades. Bill’s one of those guys that may not remember what you did just a minute ago, let alone what you did three, four years ago. He really [couldn’t] care less.”


Trivia: Cam Newton will likely become the latest Heisman Trophy winner to play for the Patriots. Who was the most recent Heisman winner to play for New England in a regular season game?

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: He played college football for a school located in Florida.

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On this day: In 1950, Brazil’s dream of a World Cup win on home soil turned to dust. In the first post-World War II version of the tournament, Brazil was not only the host, but the favorite.


Having never won the World Cup, Brazil — a nation which already had a rich history in the sport — coveted the Jules Rimet Trophy. The stars appeared to be aligning, with an attack-oriented team dazzling in front of Brazilian fans.

In that edition of the tournament, there was no knockout round, but instead a “final” round. In this, the best teams from the group stage played a round-robin style to determine the winner. Brazil easily defeated Spain and Sweden in the first two final round games by a combined 13-2 scoreline. To secure their first World Cup, Brazil needed only a draw against Uruguay in the final game.


Played before a record crowd at the Maracana Stadium (officially listed at 173,850, but is thought to have nearly eclipsed 200,000 in reality), Brazil took a 1-0 lead and seemed to be on track.

Yet in devastating fashion, Uruguay scored two late goals to win, 2-1. It was a heartbreaking defeat for the hosts, but ended up having positive ramifications. A famous anecdote was that the defeat caused Pele’s father to cry. Seeing his father weep, Pele — then a child — promised him that he would win a World Cup for Brazil. By 1958, a 17-year-old Pele was ready, scoring two goals against Sweden as Brazil finally won its first World Cup, 5-2.


Daily highlight: Wolves striker Raul Jimenez scored an emphatic volley in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw against Burnley.

Trivia answer: Vinny Testaverde, 2006

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