NFL: Carolina Panthers-OTA
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The quarterback competition in New England seems to be on the ropes as Cam Newton is starting to separate from the pack. The former league MVP, who signed a one-year deal with the Patriots back in July, just finished up what looks to be a rather defining week in this battle to win Tom Brady's former job. On top of Newton performing well in practice, his main competition, second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham, is dealing with a hip injury that is limiting him in practice, thus giving more reps to Newton along with veteran Brian Hoyer

On top of that development, Newton has received positive marks essentially across the board from those around the team. Bill Belichick has commended his work ethic, Julian Edelman has raved about the energy and confidence he brings to the table, and now quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch is the latest to talk up Newton. 

"Delighted to say that what you see is real, it's genuine. It's who he is," Fisch told WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show" on Monday morning. "The charisma he has is every day. He's extremely consistent as a person. Whether it be the boisterous personality, whether it be the way he leads, whether it be really everything he brings, the workout routine, his work ethic, it's the same every day.

"I don't know if surprised is the right word, as much as really excited that is the case. Because that is what you can work with. When you know what you're getting every day, you can really make all the necessary adjustments, tweaks and whatever needs to be done to try and help him."

One thing that has been pretty consistent when folks around Foxborough talk about Cam Newton is the quarterback's energy. Fisch even likened Newton's eagerness to be on the field to a kid heading to recess. 

"Obviously, Cam is going to stand out because you hear him, you see him," he said. "He certainly loves the game, but it really feels to me when Cam runs out onto the practice field, it's truly recess for him. It's the opportunity to go play. We all remember when we were kids and the bell rang, we got to go outside and take a break from the work and go play. That is kind of the feeling I get from Cam every time he comes out here. It's a happy place and I think that's great."

This is yet another ringing endorsement of Newton and should be taken with even more weight considering that Fisch is likely one of the two or three people getting an up-close look at this quarterback competition and how it's unfolding on a day-to-day basis. As Stidham continues to deal with his hip injury, you also have to start wondering when the Patriots will officially transition to getting Newton ready for Week 1, if they haven't already begun to do so.