The Patriots have previously been criticized for their lack of talent at the skill positions.
Sure, New England has proven receiver Julian Edelman and playmaker James White, but can N’Keal Harry or Mohamed Sanu play a big role in the passing game? Or can Sony Michel increase his productivity in the running game?
Well, with the signing of quarterback Cam Newton, one NFL analyst believes all parties benefit. ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky on Monday explained how Newton will impact the Patriots in a true “football sense” in a video posted to his Twitter account.
“… I see in the comments a lot of people going, ‘Yeah, but their skill position players still aren’t very good.’ That’s 100 percent true. But that’s why the addition of Cam Newton matters so much,” Orlovsky said. “… When you have a guy like Cam Newton that can run the football as a quarterback, you now even the playing field.”
Orlovsky referenced how defenses try to gain an advantage with their defensive front, but noted a mobile quarterback like Newton makes it more difficult to do so. Ultimately, Orlovsky noted, it impacts other matchups across the board.
“… But what New England and (offensive coordinator) Josh McDaniels now can do is not have to stress the skill players so much, they don’t have to win so consistently. And now they can get super creative with who and how they put (defenders) in conflict,” Orlovsky continued.
“And I expect it to be super creative in New England and they will constantly pick out who, what defender they want to kind of pick on that week and how many different ways they want to do it. That’s the football sense in how this matters.”
— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) June 29, 2020
Newton’s ability to contribute in the ground game, an aspect the Patriots have largely been without over the years, will be interesting to watch.
Of course, Newton will have to battle second-year QB Jarrett Stidham and veteran Brian Hoyer for the starting spot, as it reportedly wasn’t promised to him.