Stuff that matters

If Cam Newton is going to succeed Tom Brady as the Patriots’ starting quarterback, he will have to work for it.

Newton, Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham are splitting the reps at Patriots camp with no one clearly favored as the starter.

Stidham, who as a rookie backing up Brady threw just four passes last season, was actually the most impressive on the first day of work, according to reporters on the scene.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick has declined to name a starting quarterback and may not do so any time soon. Of the three, Newton is the only one without experience playing for Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, so it’s not surprising that Belichick wants to see Newton earn the job.

Still, it would be a surprise if Newton isn’t the starter when the Patriots take the field in Week One. Newton is, by far, the most accomplished of the three, and he’d have to be disappointing in the coming weeks to make Belichick turn to Hoyer or Stidham.