Cam Newton’s encouraging comments to Jakobi Meyers show he’s still leading
By Jerry Trotta
Patriots QB Cam Newton’s vote of confidence for breakout WR Jakobi Meyers proves that he’s still this team’s leader.
We know it wasn’t pretty, but it was extremely encouraging to see the New England Patriots show resilience amid their come-from-behind victory over the New York Jets on Monday night. While the defense was largely responsible for the game being as close as it was, it dug deep to force multiple stops in the fourth quarter to give the offense a chance.
Speaking of which, Cam Newton delivered a nearly perfect performance after a three-game streak of lackluster starts, finishing 27-of-35 (77.1%) for 274 yards through the air while adding two touchdowns across 10 carries on the ground.
The story for the Patriots once again was the sheer confidence Newton showcased when targeting wide receiver Jakobi Meyers, who had a career day on his 24th birthday, racking up 12 receptions for 169 yards on 14 targets.
This marks the third consecutive week that Meyers led the Patriots in receiving, and Newton continued to prove that he’s one of the outspoken leaders of the locker room by extending a massive vote of confidence in him during his weekly spot on WEEI Radio.
"“I had a conversation with (Meyers) a couple weeks ago just saying, ‘Bro, I believe in you. I don’t think you believe enough in you to know that you can play this game at a high level,’ ” said Newton. “And we’ve all seen, when given an opportunity, what he can do. But yet he’s just showing up and proving who and what he can be for this offense and putting this league on notice.”"
This is high praise from Newton and it shouldn’t surprise fans that Meyers has burst onto the scene after hearing the former MVP express utmost confidence in his ability. The third-year wideout has averaged 7.3 receptions for 95.6 yards over the last three games and we should expect his sizable target share to continue even when Julian Edelman and N’Keal Harry return from injury. After all, Newton clearly trusts him more than any other option in the passing game, and the duo share a meaningful history that dates back to their teenage years.
"“He’s just been coming up with so many different ways to get open,” Newton added. “He’s just such a humble person, and that can be his gift and his curse. I’ve said it before, I’ve known Jakobi since he was 16 years old, and the fact that we’re on the same NFL team — me knowing his family, me knowing his whole role, what happened at North Carolina State and him transitioning positions from quarterback to receiver.”"
While Meyers obviously deserves most of the credit for his sweltering run of form, you are fooling yourself if you think that Newton hasn’t played a huge role in his emergence as the Patriots No. 1 receiver.
Either way, the fact that Newton continues to gas up his teammates and provide uplifting quotes amid a tumultuous season serves as another prime example that he was a great signing for the Patriots.