The New England Patriots have a different sort of athlete playing the QB position now. Cam Newton is 6’5″ 245 pounds, and he doesn’t play QB the way many have, and most would advise him to, especially with an interest in playing it safe and avoiding collisions.
That said, it’s exciting to see a QB decide to be the hammer rather than the nail at some point. Take a look at this play from the 2019 season that saw Newton spring DJ Moore on an End Around.
Tell me if you’ve ever seen a quarterback throw a block like this one against anyone, let alone a 6’6″ 272-pound defensive end like the New York Giants’ Kareem Martin.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) June 21, 2019
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It’s Not Just Blocking With Cam Newton
Newton’s ability to make plays with his legs only augment his effectiveness as a passer, and obviously, as a blocker in the rare instance, he’s in a position to level a guy as he did in the video above.
As a runner though, few quarterbacks in NFL history have accomplished what Newton has as a dual-threat. During his career, he has rushed for 4,806 yards and scored 58 TDs on the ground. Add onto that his 367 scrambles for first downs, and 5.1 yards per attempt, and there’s no questioning the potency of his mobility.
It’s Not Just About Running
As you can see from this stat produced by Pro Football Focus, Newton has proven deadly inside the red zone. Obviously, he is a threat to run when inside the opponent’s 20-yard-line, as evidenced by his 58 rushing TDs, but his throwing accuracy in the money area is strong too.
Best red-zone adjusted completion rate since 2018 (min. 70+ dropbacks):
◽ Drew Brees – 80%
◽ Derek Carr – 78%
◽ Cam Newton – 78% 💪
◽ Patrick Mahomes – 77% pic.twitter.com/79pMZi23dp
— PFF NE Patriots (@PFF_Patriots) July 4, 2020
A 78-percent adjusted completion percentage in the red zone is the real deal, and when combining with his running talents, there’s a real weapon in the hands of Josh McDaniels and the Patriots’ offense.
Maintaining His Health
While it’s exciting to imagine Newton making some of his signature plays with the Patriots, he has to be mindful of staying healthy. In all honesty, some of the shows of athleticism were best suited for a man in his early 20s. Now that Newton is 31 years old and he’s seemingly completely recovered from a shoulder and a Lisfranc injury, it’s time he picks his spots to demonstrate some of the shows of athleticism that perhaps only he can perform.
In many ways, he’s like a dynamic point guard in the NBA who is in the second part of his career. As a younger player, he could blow past defenders and finish with a dunk over 7-footers every night. At this stage, he’s got to establish a post-game over smaller guards, use the pick-and-roll, while still choosing when he reminds the defense he can still slam it home against them.
If he has that balance, the Patriots get solid performances from Mohamed Sanu, N’Keal Harry, Devin Asiasi, the offensive line, and the defense remains an upper-echelon unity, and the sky could be the limit for the Patriots.
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