FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Cam Newton and Julian Edelman are in the early stages of developing a connection with the New England Patriots, moving to a side field to work together in recent training camp practices.
Edelman took a humorous step in showing how they are coming together Tuesday, tweeting a picture of them as Superman (Newton) and Batman (Edelman).
"The night is darkest just before the dawn. And I promise you, the dawn is coming..." pic.twitter.com/LbsSkqoGok— Julian Edelman (@Edelman11) August 25, 2020
"We're still trying to get to know each other. Just like I am with all my new teammates, but specifically with a guy that distributes the football, just kind of getting to know each other as people on the field, off the field. Trying to build a rapport," Edelman said this week, adding that he's done the same thing with quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham, so he now has "to catch up with Cam."
Newton's approach has energized Edelman, who previously referred to his "charming personality" while noting how his work ethic and confidence generates "a vibe that can feel you and get you in a mindset." It's an approach that also has Newton in the driver's seat to become the Patriots' top quarterback, replacing Tom Brady -- one of Edelman's closest friends.
After splitting repetitions evenly with veteran Hoyer and Stidham through the first four practices of training camp, Newton has been thrust into a leading role in each of the past four workouts.
The turning point came when Stidham visited a Boston hospital for tests on his leg last Thursday. While the tests came back negative, Stidham's workload has been notably reduced since that point.
Newton has seized the opportunity, although coach Bill Belichick isn't ready to name him the starter.
"Being with him every day, he's an extremely hardworking player -- first guy in, last one out type of guy. He really has studied hard and he has spent a lot of extra time trying to learn our offense and our communication and our calls; I have been very impressed with that," Belichick said of Newton on "The Rich Eisen Show."
"He's done a good job of picking it up. He's a very skilled athlete and we're just working through it day by day. We have a long way to go, but we're making steps and we have a very competitive competition at a very competitive position at the quarterback spot. It's going to be interesting to see how everybody does."
Newton, who is scheduled to address reporters Wednesday for just the second time since he signed with the Patriots on July 8, has a presence that is hard to miss at practice. His voice booms across the field, and he often dances to warm-up music.
Upon arriving in the huddle for the first time, he has a special handshake with each player.
"He comes in and energizes everybody," starting left tackle Isaiah Wynn said. "It's dope. Just like I can't wait to play with the rest of the guys whenever game time comes, I also can't wait to show a little handshake, a little juice."