BOSTON (CBS) -- Backup quarterbacks in New England had received a frosty reception from the guy ahead of them in recent years. That is not the case with Cam Newton.
It probably helps that both spent their college days at Auburn, but Newton has been nothing but extremely complimentary of backup Jarrett Stidham this year. It's interesting, because before Newton signed in New England, Stidham was the heir apparent to Tom Brady. Newton and Stidham competed for New England's starting gig throughout training camp, and with Newton struggling to throw the ball all season, there have been some cries to let "Stid The Kid" take over under center.
But through it all, Newton has made sure to mentor Stidham along the way, helping the second-year quarterback find his way in the NFL. On Tuesday, Newton once again spoke glowingly about Stidham during his weekly interview on WEEI.
"I'm so proud of Stid, man. We had a chat in the QB room Monday. His growth and his development is something that really caught my attention," said Newton.
Stidham replaced Newton in Sunday's 45-0 blowout win over the Chargers, and completed two of his three passes for 61 yards. His final pass of the day was a 38-yard touchdown to Gunner Olszewski, a play that left Newton in awe. On the play, Stidham made a quick fake to N'Keal Harry to get the safety to bite, leaving Olszewski wide open as he streaked across the field.
"[Earlier this season] I don't know if he'd have been able to stand in the pocket -- a murky pocket -- and throw an absolute strike to Gun Show," Newton said of Stidham's growth. "After the first play, he got hit and was down on the ground. For him to bounce back from that, it just speaks volumes about growth. Just to see him grow is something I'm extremely pleased about."
Stidham has had his share of growing pains over the last two years, falling down New England's QB depth chart during training camp. But he has a big fan -- and a veteran willing to help him -- in Newton.
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