NFL: New England Patriots Minicamp

Cam Newton arrives at the New England Patriots’ minicamp on June 15.

Cam Newton was a lightning rod in his first season with the Patriots.

The former MVP threw eight touchdowns to 10 interceptions, but was also flanked by one of the NFL’s worst skill position groupings. While some believe Newton was hindered by a truncated offseason and COVID-19 diagnosis, others contend that the 32-year-old’s best days are behind him.

On an Instagram live Q-and-A with quarterback coach George Whitfield Jr., Newton was asked how he processes the hate he gets from naysayers. The veteran’s response was nuanced.

“Simple: Feed your focus,” Newton said. “Feed it. If the hate ain’t in my focus, I don’t feed it. I feed off of it, but I don’t feed it. It’s two different things. When I sense or when I dwell on hatred, that’s the product that’s gonna come out: rage, anger.

“But that’s the hatred using me, not me using the hatred. So I want to process that and make that fuel me. I don’t dwell on what a person may say, what this person may say, she say, I just use it to my advantage and I feed what I want it to feed.”

Newton’s latest pursuit is the starting quarterback gig in New England, and he’ll likely compete with first-rounder Mac Jones when training camp rolls around later this month. Whitfield also asked Newton what his thought the process is when he’s pursuing something.

“You gotta visualize yourself already there. Get your mental thought of being in that moment and taking your place there,” Newton said. “And once you get there, find so much distress that you can gutter up and feel comfortable in it. Whenever that is. And that’s how you grind. You know what I’m saying? Just take your mind to that place, stay there, get uncomfortable, and be comfortable with being in that position.”

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