BOSTON (CBS) — If Cam Newton is healthy and back to being Cam Newton, then the quarterback and the New England Patriots could do some pretty spectacular things together. Just ask Newton’s former head coach, Ron Rivera.
Rivera manned the Carolina sideline for all nine seasons that Newton served as the face of the Panthers franchise, and believes Newton’s new landing spot in New England will be a great opportunity for him to show that he is still one of the NFL’s top quarterbacks. Rivera believes that New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, one of the bright offensive minds in the league, and Newton should be able to come up with an offensive game plan that puts up a lot of points in 2020.
“I was excited [when he signed] because I thought all along that there were a couple teams that would’ve been really good for him, and I always felt the Patriots were one of them,” Rivera — now the head coach of the Washington football team — said during a Friday morning appearance on The Dan Patrick Show. “When Tom Brady went to Tampa Bay, I thought, you know [New England] might not be a bad spot for him because of the style of offense and the things they ask the quarterback to do.”
Newton’s style is much different from the one the Patriots had with Brady for the last two decades, though McDanies did have to get creative in 2016 when Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett filled in for four games to start the season. Rivera believes that Newton will catch on quickly with the Patriots, especially since the 31-year-old quarterback out to prove his many doubters wrong.
“The one thing I’ve always said is don’t bet against Cam, especially when he has something to prove,” said Rivera. “Coming off the 2014 season, even though we got in the playoffs, he didn’t play his best. In 2015, he played unbelievable. In 2016, he had an off-year and was hurt, and came back in 2017 and had a great year that got us into the playoffs. In 2018 and 2019, he was hurt. I think he has something to prove. I think he’s going to prove something.
“I like the fact that coach Belichick, and what they want to do offensively, I think that’s going to suit him,” said Rivera. “I think Josh McDaniels is creative enough to use Cam’s skill set to the best of his abilities. I’ll watch them. I’ll be excited to watch them.”