On the surface, Bill Belichick and Cam Newton are total opposites.
One is quiet and plays everything close to the vest. The other has a flair for the dramatic and wears his emotions on his sleeves.
But despite why it’s easy to assume the Patriots head coach and new quarterback won’t see eye to eye in New England, consider the opposite and open your mind to the idea of this unlikely pairing coming together to win the AFC East in 2020.
Here’s why the out-of-nowhere Belichick-Newton marriage will work.
Both have something to prove: This simple fact can bond the two. Belichick needs to prove to the world that he doesn’t need Tom Brady, the New England dynasty isn’t dead and that winning can still commence in the division. Newton wants to show the Panthers they did him wrong, and make the rest of the NFL look silly for passing on him during the first waves of free agency.
Belichick loves reclamation projects: New England has made a habit of signing former stars to incentive-laden deals over the past two decades. When organizations think former greats are done, Belichick finds a way to squeeze a little bit more juice out of them. Newton could join a list that includes Randy Moss, Junior Seau and Corey Dillon.
Ahead of the offensive curve: Think back to what New England was early in Brady’s career. Power-I formation. Run the ball down hill. Play action. Then Belichick saw the sport changing, signed and traded wide receivers, went to a spread no-huddle offense and let Brady open things up. Records were set. An undefeated season occurred. The next wave included two tight ends. The last couple of years have been a blast from the past to cover up an eroding Brady.
Don’t be shocked when Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels redesign the scheme to get the most out of what Newton can do.
The AFC East is wide open: There’s no juggernaut here. For as good as the Bills look on paper, let’s see them take this division before simply assuming they’ll win it. Belichick and Newton may only need nine wins to get to the postseason together. It’s more than doable.
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Joe Giglio may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell us your coronavirus story or send a tip here.