Patriots

Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon is expecting big things from Cam Newton

The new Patriots free-agent signee says Newton "knows who we drafted" but will respond to the challenge from Mac Jones.

Matthew Judon Patriots
Matthew Judon. Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Recent Links

New Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon isn’t short on confidence for himself or his team’s defense heading into 2021.

As he said on his Monday appearance on NFL Network’s Good Morning, Football, the two-time Pro Bowler feels he has “no choice” but to be confident and that this belief in himself will pay off in solid play.

It also doesn’t hurt having who Judon calls “arguably the best coach to ever coach any sport” in Bill Belichick running the show.

“With him leading a group of hungry, willing men, it’s nothing but up from last year,” he said.

But the former Ravens edge rusher also thinks one of his teammates on the other side of the ball is bound for a bounceback year in 2021.

Advertisement:

Judon has already publicly proclaimed his excitement to play with “Super Cam” Newton this fall, even after the latter’s forgettable 2020 season with the Patriots. When asked about what he expects from the veteran quarterback, Judon once again expressed optimism about Newton’s outlook this season, saying he expects the former MVP to “put his best foot forward.”

Newton’s attitude and preparation in particular have made a strong impression on Judon, who signed a lucrative free-agent deal with the Patriots this spring.

“When he comes in the meetings, he’s in the front of the meetings,” Judon said. “He’s attentive. When we get out on the field, he’s the loudest on the field and he’s always having fun with it. So I expect him to go out there, treat it as a business, go out there and make plays, and lead the quarterbacks, lead the team.”

Advertisement:

Of course, the Patriots’ quarterback situation is a bit different now than it was when Judon first signed with the team.

Newton now has a strong prospective challenger for the job in rookie signal-caller Mac Jones, who had a solid slate of spring practices. Several NFL insiders expect the Patriots to give the first-round pick a real chance to earn the starting job during training camp.

Judon said Newton “knows who we drafted” and knows Jones is the future of the franchise — something Newton himself has acknowledged on multiple occasions.

But the Pro Bowl edge rusher also said the incumbent starter “knows how to work.”

Advertisement:

“He’s not new to this,” Judon said of Newton. “He’s not new to the NFL. We all know how it goes. If you’re not playing to a certain standard, it’s the next man up. I think he’ll be playing to that standard, but it’s yet to see. We going to see in a couple weeks.”

The new Patriots signee also said he’s looking forward to having fans back at training camp and for games. Several of the team’s training camp practices will be open to the public for the first time in two years.

“I think we all took the fans for granted,” he said. “We just didn’t think fans brought that much to the game. But when they’re not there, you notice…when those training camp [happen] and you see the fans out there, it’s like, ‘We’re back. This is who we’re doing it for. This is for them.'”

Jump To Comments

Conversation

This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on Boston.com