Bill Belichick will do anything to put his team in a position to win. This offseason certainly proved that. Even without a clear-cut answer at quarterback, the New England Patriots head coach boosted his team’s coaching power by bringing in Jedd Fisch to lead the quarterback room. Months later, Cam Newton arrived on a cheap-one-year deal.
As the Patriots search for the answer at the most important position in sports, it seems like Newton has already made a strong impression on his position coach. At least, that’s the takeaway based on Fisch’s powerful praise for the former NFL MVP.
Bill Belichick added a coaching weapon in Jedd Fisch
Bill Belichick has never been shy about switching things up in Foxborough. Perhaps in an effort to give Josh McDaniels some help, he brought in a new quarterback coach this offseason. In January, the Patriots hired Jedd Fisch to fill that critical role.
The 44-year-old never played football growing up. However, the University of Florida grad got his feet wet in the football world by becoming a graduate assistant under Steve Spurrier.
Following a two-year stint as a GA, Fisch took his talents to the NFL. He served in a number of different roles for several franchises. As an up-and-coming coach, Fisch put himself on the map by serving as the offensive coordinator and QB coach at the University of Miami.
Under his direction, the Hurricanes showed steady improvement on offense. Miami finished 64th in scoring (26.5 points per game) in Fisch’s first year. The following year, UM leapt all the way to 49th in scoring by averaging just over 31 points per game.
Though he did not enjoy success in his two years as the offensive coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Fisch has managed to land jobs at big-time programs in recent years. After stints at Michigan and UCLA, he landed with the LA Rams, where he most recently served as the team’s assistant offensive coordinator in 2019.
Patriots QB coach delivers powerful praise for Cam Newton
Given his wealth of coaching experience, Jedd Fisch certainly knows what he’s talking about when it comes to quarterback play. Bill Belichick’s new coaching weapon has a tall task in front of him in finding the Patriots’ next starting quarterback. Cam Newton and Jarrett Stidham each possess intriguing tools. However, both have questions to answer in training camp.
Newton faces an uphill battle to learn a complex offensive system that Stidham and Hoyer already have knowledge of. Despite the challenge, it seems like the former No. 1 pick has made a strong impression on his new position coach. In fact, Jedd Fisch delivered powerful praise for Newton in speaking with the Providence Journal.
“The improvement that he is making on a daily basis are sometimes what you could see some other guys that have been in the same system for a few years make on a monthly basis,” Fisch said. “I think the leaps that he’s taking each day have been really impressive based on the fact that there’s a huge foundational gap from call it not having been here the spring or the season before.”
Newton reportedly shined in Thursday’s practice and looks like the favorite to open the season as QB1. Of course, he will have to beat out a talented but unproven commodity in Jarrett Stidham.
Will Newton beat out Jarrett Stidham?
The combined coaching powers of Bill Belichick, Josh McDaniels, and Jedd Fisch gives the Patriots a leg up on the rest of their opponents. Together, they will have to figure out who gives the team the best chance to win.
The competition for the QB1 role will come down to Newton and Stidham. Hoyer may have the most knowledge of New England’s system, but his best role comes as a backup and a mentor.
On the other hand, Newton and Stidham offer much more upside. The former brings a new dimension to the offense with his ability to run. The latter could follow in Tom Brady’s footsteps as an overlooked draft pick who just needs an opportunity.
Moving forward, it will be interesting to see if Newton continues to inspire strong praise from his coaches. His teammates already seem attracted to his infectious energy. However, what Newton does on the field will determine his place on the team.
If he continues to perform well in practice, expect to see No. 1 under center. If Newton fails to stay healthy or simply does not play up to Bill Belichick’s expectations, the Patriots will likely roll the dice and throw Stidham in the fire.
Ultimately, Jedd Fisch will play a key role in the success of the offense in 2020. We just have to wait and see which quarterback will be throwing passes to Julian Edelman when the season begins.