Patriots

Jakobi Meyers described why Cam Newton is a strong leader

"To see him go through that and stay the same guy every day, be one of the first in the building and last to leave, it’s inspirational."

Cam Newton celebrates with Jakobi Meyers. Adrian Kraus / AP

Jakobi Meyers has known Cam Newton for years before Newton helped make him the Patriots’ leading receiver this season.

The wide receiver attended Newton’s passing camps when he was playing quarterback in high school. On Thursday, Meyers shared why he looked up to Newton then.

“Growing up as a quarterback, seeing Cam, a guy who is able to come in and be himself and go out there and win games — even when people hated on him and talked bad about him, he still came in every day and performed,” Meyers told reporters. “It just showed who he was, his personality.”

Now as teammates on the Patriots, Meyers said that Newton is still motivating him. He called Newton’s ability to bounce back from his struggles over the past year — dealing with a season-ending injury, getting released by the Panthers, signing for just the minimum with the Patriots, testing positive for COVID-19, and struggling on the field — “inspirational.”

“Not too many people in the world could handle going from the top to the bottom, then working your way back,” Meyers said. “I mean, if you look at his life, honestly. He was a Heisman winner, the No. 1 pick. He did everything he set out to do. Just seeing him do that, get back, get hated on for his personality, for his injuries, everything.

“Even when he got here, he wasn’t playing his best. Now, he has definitely gotten better. To see him go through that and stay the same guy every day, be one of the first in the building and last to leave, it’s inspirational. It sets a good standard for a lot of young guys to look up to.”

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Meyers’s production this season has mostly come in the last four games. He’s caught 37 of his 38 passes this season over that stretch, racking in a team-high 353 receiving yards this season.

Meyers credited his recent surge in production to his relationship with Newton.

“(It’s) definitely grown over time,” he said. “It’s hard not to have a good relationship with Cam. He lights up every room he walks in. He’s a pretty genuine guy. Honestly, just getting reps with him, and being in the offense, finding my way, finding my fit in the offense took time to grow.”

When Meyers was asked about what Newton said to him in Week 6, a week prior to the aforementioned stretch, to help motivate him, Newton actually crashed Meyers’s press conference.

“You would’ve thought I was a prophet or something,” Newton said.

After Meyers caught a career-high 12 catches for 169 yards in the Patriots’ win over the Jets earlier this month, Newton shared how proud he was of Meyers’s growth.

“For him to have the kind of performance he had tonight, while going with these last couple of weeks, it’s just a show of hard work paying off,” Newton said after that game.

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