Cam Newton has found himself in new surroundings as he heads into his 10th season in the league. Newton has the chance to re-establish himself with the New England Patriots to add another successful chapter to his career. Much of that opportunity will lie on garnering head coach Bill Belichick’s belief that he can be the best option under center for the 2020 season. With that in mind, Belichick may have already opened how he feels about Newton.
Cam Newton’s transition to New England
It has been nothing short of an interesting offseason for Cam Newton as he’s playing for another franchise aside from the Carolina Panthers for the first time in his career.
That has put him in unfamiliar territory, which it hasn’t settled in yet that he’s now a member of the Patriots. Newton has a fresh opportunity to re-establish himself as a viable starting quarterback and as one of the top talents as his position. It’s a spot where he will have huge shoes to fill in New England trying to maintain the level of success that Tom Brady had.
The Patriots are also not tied to him financially to give him that opportunity as he’s under a one-year deal worth up to $7.5 million. The pressure is on his shoulders to make a strong impression on the coaching staff, most importantly Bill Belichick. However, Belichick already revealed how he truly feels about Newton a few years ago.
Bill Belichick’s true feelings about Cam Newton
For the first time in two decades, the Patriots are tasked with choosing another quarterback under center.
That leaves the critical task to Bill Belichick, which he will have to assess whether Cam Newton is the right choice to be the starter for the 2020 season. The future Hall of Fame coach made his feelings about Newton known back in 2017 when he praised Newton’s versatile and called him the “hardest guy to Defend.” (H/T Patriots Wire)
“I think when you’re talking about mobile quarterbacks — guys that are tough to handle, can throw, run, make good decisions … — I would put him at the top of the list. “Not saying there aren’t a lot of other good players that do that, but I would say of all the guys we played recently in the last couple of years, I think he’s the hardest guy to (defend).
“He makes good decisions, can run. He’s strong. He’s hard to tackle. He can do a lot of different things. He can beat you in a lot of different ways. We saw that in the game in 2013. I would put him at the top of the list. I’m not saying the other guys aren’t a problem, because they are. But he’s maybe public enemy No. 1.”
Belichick is clearly aware of the unique skill set that Newton possesses. He’s a dynamic asset with his ability to be a game-changing factor running the ball, especially near the goal-line. Much of that lies with his decision-making, which should play a critical factor in helping Newton work his way into the starting job in New England.
If the three-time Pro Bowler can prove to be anything near what Belichick voiced a couple of years ago, there is a strong chance for him to start to begin the 2020 season.
Prove it on the field
Aside from garnering a great deal of respect from Bill Belichick, the task for Cam Newton is much different.
His resume speaks for itself as he has showcased to be one of the most uniquely-talented quarterbacks that the NFL has had. He’s entering a situation where he must show the Patriots that he is past his injury problems and has a firm grasp of the offensive scheme.
Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer both have a strong understanding of the offense, which puts a greater emphasis on Newton digesting the playbook. The coronavirus pandemic may have significantly impacted the offseason, but it’s an opportunity that could substantially define the next chapter of his NFL career.