The strange legacy of QB Cam Newton

Carolina hasn’t exactly had a great tradition of QBs – with just 3 players in their history that have thrown for more than 10,000 YDs in their career, and having played in 50 or more games. There is no question about it – he was fast and always had a massive cannon for an arm, and out of those QBs – we could argue he was the best of the lot. But, his pouty demeanor on the sidelines when things weren’t going as planned, led to a lot of criticism for the 6-5 QB. How may times did we see him with a towel over his head, alone on the bench, with a frowning face?
That is not the strong, fiery image you want as the leader of your team.
Now, the New England Patriots signed Cam Newton to a one year 7.5 million dollar contract for this upcoming season. How does this change the landscape of the AFC East, or the image of Cam? Newton has always been known as the guy who folded when the going got tough, especially since his physical skills are rolling downhill, due to age and injuries. When things are going great for him, he is happy and laughing on the sidelines – but we all know Cam is not a fan of adversity, nor does he handle it well. More structure for Cam should help him, and Bill Belichick brings structure and a no nonsense approach. So it is time to fall in line, take direction, and be part of the solution or sit on the bench.
Cam was always more of a great athlete than a great QB – he helped usher in the age of the hybrid – when he threw for 64 TDs and then ran for 28 TDs in his first 3 seasons. Then exactly what happens to running QBs – happened to Cam.
Teams figured him out.
Defenses will always catch up – since 2016 he threw for just 65 TDs, around 58% passing completions, and threw 44 ints – there is nothing good about those numbers.

When a team takes away a mobile and athletic QBs ability to run, they then have to rely on only their passing ability – they get exposed as being a one trick pony, and not a true QB with true QB abilities. And when a guy plays the QB position, the true QB attributes of accuracy, quick release, and good decision making are all far more important than any physical trait they could have, like being able to jump high or running fast.
Cam Newton relied on his athletic ability far too much. The Patriots aren’t loaded with any excellent WR talent, with 33 yr old slot receiver Julian Edelman, and forever very average WR2, Mohamed Sanu, as their primary targets. So he is going to have to make it happen with what he has around him. Cam really hasn’t had any legit WR threats since Steve Smith, so I don’t think he’s gonna struggle with the current WR situation in New England, but can he really pull out the best in them like Brady did?

Von Miller showed him how much jumping and running matters in the NFL, and since that day – he had never been the same. In 2016 – in his 24-10 Superbowl loss – he looked terrible – going 18-41, 0 TD passes, 2 fumbles, and a pick. Losing at the hands of a broken QB who was one step away from signing up for AARP. When he didn’t land on that fumbled ball he showed the world he didn’t want it nearly enough – if a guy wants it hard enough they jump on that loose ball, not stand there watching the action. He got wrecked – and that moment will forever be who Cam Newton is.
In the end, Cam got too full of himself, he became a “Cam fan.” He didn’t seem to have passion for the game – he could have been much more humble and respected the basics of the game. The game is and always will be bigger than any one player, regardless of how much a player is making, or what the name is on the back of the jersey. Football is the best of the best as a team sport. That being said – Cam was a solid QB – but a real change in his attitude could have made him much better and far more likeable. His football skills were nowhere near his inflated ego.

Cam Newton was never the most accurate, never the best decision maker, and wasn’t very good at reading a defense. Cam was certainly a special player – with a good look and was exciting to watch play – however, let’s not pretend he was ever something he is not. Overall, I still think this is a good grab for the Pats, I think that Bill Belichick will mentor him well. Under Belichick and the culture that New England has – I think he can QB well enough to keep them in games. This will likely be the biggest challenge of Cam’s football career – and it will be the greatest opportunity of his polarizing career, as well. I think he will be solid for them, he won’t get them to the Super Bowl or likely even the AFC championship game, but it will be better than the Stidham situation they were looking at.


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