The New England Patriots are reportedly keen on trading up to draft their quarterback of the future this month, but that doesn’t change the fact that they signed Cam Newton to be their starter under center next season.
While it goes without saying that Newton will be on a short leash following his lackluster debut campaign in Foxborough, you have to think that he’ll improve significantly in 2021.
Some of that boils down to the fact that he couldn’t have performed worse, especially during the second half of the season, seemingly hinting that there’s nowhere to go but up.
However, there’s solid evidence that suggests he’s destined to improve.
Look no further than the latest comments made by Tom Brady’s longtime throwing coach, Tom House. During an appearance on the “Patriots Talk Podcast” this week, House didn’t hesitate in asserting that Newton will be a more precise thrower of the football next season.
The quarterback whisperer attributed most of Newton’s struggles to the fact that his shoulder wasn’t fully recovered from 2019 surgery — which marked the second time that shoulder was operated on in the last four years.
Patriots quarterback Cam Newton seems poised for a bounce-back season.
There were numerous instances last season in which Newton’s mechanics looked all out of wack, most notably on throws beyond 15 yards that he ended up bouncing to his receivers.
Given how much time he devoted to mastering the Patriots’ playbook — which wasn’t even enough thanks to its complexity — Newton had zero time after signing near the start of training camp to ensure that his body was capable of fulfilling what the playbook demanded.
That says a lot for somebody who wakes up at the crack of dawn to work out. Throw in the fact that the former MVP tested positive for COVID-19, which forced him away from the team for almost two weeks just as he was finding a groove, and it’s really no surprise he struggled.
For context, the Patriots started the year 2-1, with their only loss coming on the final play of regulation against the Seahawks. During that stretch, Newton completed 68.1% of his passes for 714 yards and two touchdowns, adding 149 yards and an additional two scores on the ground.
We haven’t even mentioned that Newton was throwing to one of the worst pass-catching groups in the league. It was a delight to watch Jakobi Meyers break out the way he did, but he simply has no business leading the Patriots in receiving if they’re competing for the playoffs.
The bottom line is that there was a bevy of extenuating circumstances that contributed to Newton’s shortcomings in 2020. Assuming House’s analysis on his rehab and mechanics is accurate, fans should be expecting a huge bounce-back year from the three-time Pro Bowler.