The addition of Cam Newton makes the New England Patriots better than they were last week with alleged starting quarterback Jarrett Stidham.
But better than they were last season? When did they win an eleventh consecutive division title? With Tom Brady? Crazy speeches.
Or not? It represents a strong defense, a race-oriented offensive line and a stable.
“I honestly think the way the team is built right now fits Cam Newton’s football more than Tom Brady’s,” NBC Sports analyst Chris Simms told the Post. “This is only tailored for Cam, and now you have a chance to do more creative things within the running game. Now you have one of the biggest action crimes in football.
“If there was a downside to Brady last year, it was a reluctance to push the ball onto the pitch. Now you have the guy who will hang up and shoot him.”
Newton’s deal with a year of incentives is awaiting a physical rebound, which is no small thing after surgery on the shoulders and feet in 2019 on a mobile deep ball launcher.
The 2015 MVP was cut by the Carolina Panthers and remained a free agent longer than expected due to a combination of coronavirus restrictions that prevent team physicists and because so few teams are troubled by the quarterback.
Kurt Warner had a similar experience, cut by the St. Louis Rams after winning an MVP and reaching Super Bowls back to back. It showed that the doubters were wrong to restore a career in the Hall of Fame with the Arizona Cardinals.
“Since I was there, I understand that perception becomes reality in the NFL,” an NFL network analyst told The Post Warner. “If people perceive you as damaged goods, I understand that the people of the league were temporary.
“When you have to scold yourself, you appreciate it. It’s a distinct challenge when you go to different places and people don’t know what you’re capable of. If you are able to do the things you want to do, it is very sweet indeed. “
Last week, Simms took the 31st year old Newton unsigned chart by surprise by no. 10, five points higher than Brady, on his annual list of the 40 best quarterbacks in the NFL.
The Patriots were the only team to offer a contract in Newton for ESPN. Why was Simms on a wavelength shared only by Bill Belichick?
In Newton’s training videos shared on social media, Simms saw flashy passes and aggressive jumps with a willingness to put pressure on his left foot. He studied 2018 films to see the metamorphosis of a better pocket passerby.
“People sleep on this guy,” said Simms. “Cam Newton is not the type that a team wants to make a reserve quarterback. It is threatening [almost] any other quarterback. Every day when they leave the field, the team will participate: “Have you seen our backup quarterback today? Have you seen Cam Newton run and throw that shot? ‘It would divide the team.”
Warner imagines the patriots who run Newton like the Seahawks and Russell Wilson, limiting the planned runs (and collisions) using the initial game reading options as masked handoffs, saving wear and tear on his body until a special is needed fourth quarter game.
Although there is nothing beyond New England’s creative minds – a two-quarter rotation or a special role similar to Taysom Hill to limit exposure to Newton’s injuries, for example – the solution is probably simpler. The NFL’s most versatile playbook has changed from year to year during Brady’s tenure to adapt to surrounding staff, so there are already pages not used by Newton.
“I might see them as more apt to say that we’re going to do a hit on Cam in terms of success, much like what you’ve heard of the Ravens with Lamar Jackson,” said Warner. “If Cam is your starter, you won’t try to write it for a young boy. You are going to try to keep it cooler. “
If it works, the AFC panorama has just changed.
“I think everyone in the AFC East and the AFC as a whole was breathing a sigh of relief: we don’t have to cross Tom Brady now,” said Warner. “Now bring Cam Newton there and everyone takes a step back. If it is the boy who has been in the past, now they become dangerous and perhaps also a favorite. I think a lot of people watch the Patriots 180 [degrees different] where they saw them yesterday. “