Bill Belichick is heading into his first year in the last two decades without Tom Brady. The New England Patriots have shifted the situation by bringing in star quarterback Cam Newton into the equation for the starting job in the 2020 season. With that in mind, that has Belichick considering all options with Newton, even the obscure routes.
Cam Newton’s next chapter with Patriots
Cam Newton has stepped into an entirely new situation with the Patriots, marking the next chapter of his career.
It’s an opportunity for him to re-establish himself as one of the game’s best quarterbacks. Newton’s last two seasons have been plagued by injuries, which brought forth doubt about his ability at this stage of his career. The change of scenery has come with plenty of questions about what he can bring to the table in New England.
Much of which centered on how he will fit into the Patriots’ offensive scheme that hasn’t had a mobile quarterback running the offense under Bill Belichick. That has pushed Belichick to consider all options for what is best for the team’s success with their current quarterback situation with Newton plugged into the equation.
Bill Belichick may platoon Cam Newton
For the first time in the last two decades, Bill Belichick will operate with a roster that doesn’t have Tom Brady.
That has shifted the entire game plan when it comes to their quarterback situation. It has opened the door to Belichick considering all scenarios that include possibly platooning Cam Newton and Jarrett Stidham throughout the 2020 season, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.
Asked Wednesday morning before practice if it might be a benefit to pair two signal-callers with varied skill sets, Belichick said, “It might. I always say I’ll do what I think is best for the team, what gives us the best chance to win. Whatever that is, I would definitely consider it — run unbalanced line, double unbalanced line, 23 personnel. Whatever it is, if it helps us win, I would consider anything.”
Belichick has never worked with a quarterback that possesses Newton’s skill set, leading the future Hall of Fame coach to exercise all avenues. There isn’t any clarity about whether Newton can be the long-term answer for the franchise while the team is quite high on Stidham’s future.
The Patriots are moving into a new era with no idea about what direction the team will head at quarterback.
Bill Belichick taking methodical approach
The Patriots are in a curious situation where they have to weigh which quarterback presents them the best chance to win.
Cam Newton is still working his way to understand the playbook but is the more skilled option over Jarrett Stidham. However, the reasoning behind Belichick openly considering all his options may be due to Newton still having difficulty learning the team’s complex playbook.
There isn’t any clarity about when the three-time Pro Bowler will garner a firm grasp of the offensive scheme while Stidham is coming off his first year being into the system. That may be where he holds the upper hand and firmly insert himself in the competition for the starting job. Before the team brought aboard Newton, the consensus belief was that Stidham would cruise forward with the starting spot.
Newton’s presence certainly changes the situation, but it’s one that Belichick and the Patriots created for themselves. There are still a few weeks for New England to feel out their quarterback battle and determine what works best for them in 2020.