Sometimes it’s okay to say “I don’t know”. For those who have been following me for awhile, you know that I’m not afraid to go out on a limb. When experts say “X”, I’m not afraid to say “H”. I’ve been trying to figure out a way to talk about Cam Newton the last couple days. When it comes to Cam’s expectations with the Patriots, it’s hard to say anything other than I don’t know. In my opinion, Newton just has a wide range of outcomes with the Patriots.
First and foremost, we just don’t know if Cam is healthy. I’m not a doctor. I don’t have a detailed look at the physical. Newton has not played meaningful snaps since 2018. Nobody knows if Cam is healthy because the guy we saw in 2019 should retire. Newton obviously wasn’t healthy but has had a full year to recover.
Those who believe Cam will thrive in New England will point to the 2015 MVP season. That is not happening. I can promise you that. The good news is, he doesn’t have to be the 2015 version of himself. All the Patriots need is the first half of the 2018 version. That’s the one we need to be paying closer attention to.
Newton, 31, was 6-2 during the first 8 games of 2018. Midway through the season, he hurt his shoulder, and Carolina’s season was over. Even after having a rough 2nd half, Newton completed close to 68 percent of his throws. Cam has never been a super-accurate guy but he really developed as a passer during that year. 2018 Cam is all New England needs.
The other good news is Newton doesn’t have to fit in this so called “system”. Many forget that Josh McDaniels was the head coach in Denver with Tim Tebow. This isn’t a shot at Newton but I find it hard to believe they won’t use any of those concepts. Zone reads and designed quarterback runs will be in the offense. New England more so than anybody is adaptable with the players they have.
2020 is going to be the ultimate experiment. How much of the Patriots success was Tom Brady and how much of it was Bill Belichick? Well, now we have Cam Newton sliding into this situation. The biggest task at hand will be carrying below average talent. This isn’t a great group of weapons. No reliable tight ends, N’Keal Harry is overrated, and Julian Edelman is ageing.
So what should we expect from Cam Newton with the Patriots in 2020? I don’t know how you can say any other answer besides for “I don’t know”. When it comes to Newton and the Patriots, I’m all ears. The range of outcomes feels massive.