The New England Patriots‘ Cam Newton has had his share of doubters, but most of them at least put their name on their disparaging comments. Newton had a frosty response to one recent anonymous detractor.
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Anonymous Head Coach Hates on Newton
Last month, an anonymous NFL coach who spoke with The Athletic’s Mike Sando gave a harsh critique of the former 2015 NFL MVP. He said:
“I don’t think he is Superman anymore,” the coach said pointing to a change in Newton’s diet as his kryptonite. We’re not talking about an increase in bad carbohydrates. This coach pointed to Newton’s choice to eliminate meat from his diet. “Remember when (Colin) Kaepernick became vegan, changed his body and he just wasn’t as dynamic of an athlete anymore? Cam was 265 and bigger than everybody. He looks skinny now like he is 235 and wants to have ripped abs, and that’s his choice. Is he going to have that power running element?”
Tom Brady is also a vegan, but there are no references to it hurting his play. Hmm…and the coach uses Kaepernick as a reference too? This sort of take makes you wonder if this coach simply isn’t a fan of dual-threat quarterbacks.
In any case, the critique was brought up to Newton on Friday when he met with the Patriots’ media for the first time. Newton seemed perturbed by the comment, but instead of giving it more time than it deserved, he simply said, “I don’t talk to anonymous people. I speak with real people. So as long as this comes from someone anonymous, we’ll leave it at that.”
You can see this response and all 20 minutes of Newton’s time with the media below:
Newton Speaks More About His Diet Change
Many athletes have chosen to go vegan, especially in recent years. Many of them talk about how much more energetic they feel, and Newton said some of those same things on Friday. There were previous criticisms from a nutritionist who claimed Newton’s vegan diet might be slowing down his recovery and hindering his play.
This is all theory, but when it comes from a trained professional, and not just an anonymous coach, there is some reason to at least listen to the concept. That said, because there are so many examples of successful football players with the same eating habits (Brady, Tyrann Mathieu, Jurrell Casey, and others) at best, this is inconclusive.
Newton appears to be healthy, and those who have worked out with him seem to imply that the 31-year-old still looks as big and strong as ever.
We also must consider Newton suffered multiple injuries because of his aggressive style of play. Might it be he’s looking to be lighter and a lot less daring (which is advisable if he is planning to extend his career)? Something tells me that if Newton has a strong 2020 season, there will be a lot more players considering plant-based diets. As they always say, the NFL is a copycat league.