- Cam Newton has brought entertainment to the New England Patriots, both on and off the field.
- Newton’s running has added variety to an offense that went stale under Tom Brady.
- Charismatic engagement with the press and on social media is new for the traditionally straight-laced Patriots.
Cam Newton is already changing the way we view the New England Patriots. It hasn’t been easy to like the NFL’s most successful dynasty during the last 20 years.
Spygate, Deflategate, Bill Belichick’s ice-cold press conferences, and Tom Brady’s remorseless longevity hardly made the Pats favorites with the neutrals.
Newton has added an entertainment factor to the franchise, and it’s only taken him one game. The former Carolina Panthers quarterback won his first start with his new team, beating Miami 21-11 on Sunday.
Newton Keeps His Chain
Newton featured heavily in a run-first offense that reminded people he still has enough mobility to be a dynamic dual-threat. He was involved in a duel of a more personal nature after the game, getting into a scuffle with Dolphins players, who tried to rip a chain from around his neck.
The quarterback offered this brilliant quip on social media in response, per TMZ:
I still got my chain. I got two of ’em. So you could see. It was disrespect, they was reaching for my chain, though I still got my chain.
Newton had already charmed reporters during an entertaining postgame press conference:
Cam Newton Ready to Keep Running for New-Look Patriots
Newton deserved to be upbeat after running for two touchdowns. He carried the ball 15 times, with 13 of those designed runs.
Read-option looks and power plays for a 6’5″, 245-pound quarterback added unpredictability to New England’s offense. It felt fresh after 20 years of Tom Brady hitting receivers on shallow crossing patterns.
Seeing Newton use his legs to make plays reminded many, including Pro Football Talk’s Chris Simms, of No. 1’s peak as league MVP:
Not everybody was impressed, though. ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky raised concerns about how many hits Newton will take. Typically bullish, Newton played down those worries during an appearance on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show”:
That’s just been me. Every year, a new discussion comes up about ‘It’s not smart to run. It’s not smart to do this. It’s not smart to do that.’ But at the end of the day, I just feel as if whatever necessary way you have to go about winning a football game, that’s what you have to do.
His enthusiasm will rub off on Newton’s teammates. The Patriots were playing with smiles on their faces, an obvious change from years past when the team appeared almost robotic-like in the pursuit of yet more success.
Newton’s brought a sense of fun to the Patriots, as well as something different to an offense restricted to the pocket for most of Brady’s two-decade stay.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.