2020 Pats: Cam Can't Cook

Super Nomario

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Reports were that Stidham is dinged up ... maybe they'll put him on IR for three weeks to get him healthy so they need an extra guy for practice. Or maybe they just want a 4th QB with all the extra PS bodies.
 

joe dokes

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I've seen a lot of similar takes today, with people worried about Cam taking hits. I wouldn't worry too much about it. Before last season, Cam had never missed more than two starts in a season, while carrying it 90+ times every year, and 100+ carries in seven of his eight seasons. He may not carry it 15+ times very often, but if you're not going to let him run, you may as well not even sign him. The best thing that he brings to the table is the way that he exerts pressure on a defense with his running ability. If he's not mobile, that stuff goes out the window.

The biggest issue with Cam is that he was injured the last two years. People tried to say he was getting old and wearing down, but I never really bought that. Somebody rolled up on his ankle in the preseason game against the Pats last year. He tried to play through it, he couldn't, so he had surgery and missed the season. It was an injury that could happen to anybody.

Cam is healthy now so the best thing to do is just let him be himself. You obviously want him to be smart and pick his battles, and he knows that. He mentioned after the game that it's not in his best interests to try and finish runs like a typical ball carrier would. That said, there will absolutely be moments this season where Pats fans have flashbacks to Gronk in the open field, with the combination of excitement and fear that it brings, because Cam can do that when he has to. Cam can actually make people miss too, in addition to being able to run over them.
Oh, I'm fine with him running. But if he gets the first down, don't try to run over someone to get 5 more. Or if he's gotten 15 on a run down the sideline get out of bounds rather than try for 5 more.

looks like he addressed it himself:


Asked later in the interview about his hamstring, specifically, Newton waved away concerns.
“Yeah, I don’t know where that came from, I have no hamstring problems,” Newton said.
He paused before humorously adding, “We won, so that means I’m not hurt anymore.”
Though he was an efficient passer — going 15-19 for 155 yards through the air — Newton was most effective in helping the Patriots' ground game. His 75 rushing yards were the most by a Patriots quarterback since Steve Grogan.
Still, there are potential issues with Newton staying healthy for an entire season if he’s taking hits running the ball every game. For his part, Newton agreed when asked if he’s become better at getting down before he’s tackled.
“I just feeling like that’s just how my running style has kind of morphed over the years,” said Newton. "I just feel like I’ve gotten better at it. From the time that I got into the league until the time now, people always see the running amount, but at the same time, the toll on the runner is not always the same as a running back, so to speak.
“I think quarterbacks all alike have this invisible role to be able to get down in the open field, because they don’t have to finish the run as other positions would like to do,” Newton added. "So either I’m the hammer and not the anvil, delivering the blow, or at the end of the day I can get down and, like they all say, live to fight another day.
It’s not the first time critics have prognosticated future problems for Newton if he doesn’t adapt to a more pass-first approach.
“That’s just been me,” said Newton in response. "Every year, a new discussion comes up about it’s not smart to run, it’s not smart to do this or that, but at the end of the day, I just feel like whatever is a necessary way we have to go about winning a football game, that’s what you have to do. Me being an ultimate competitor, if I’m asked to block, I’m just going to do that. If I’m asked to run a route, I’m going to go do it.
“As long as I run and take care of myself and get down when need be,” Newton added, “then I feel as if everything will be OK.”
 

Super Nomario

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Oh, I'm fine with him running. But if he gets the first down, don't try to run over someone to get 5 more. Or if he's gotten 15 on a run down the sideline get out of bounds rather than try for 5 more.

looks like he addressed it himself:

Part of it is play design too. A lot of teams set up the read option where the RB give is up the middle and the QB keeper is outside. The Patriots set it up the other way for the most part, with the keeper up the middle and the RB give outside (Chris Brown calls this the "inverted veer"). That fits Cam's skill set, as he's a different kind of runner than a guy like Wilson, Murray, or Jackson, but it opens him to taking more hits.
 

streeter88

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Must be why he was voted a captain. I want Cam to be right, and I think there is a chance that Harry can build confidence with his QB and teammates’ support and be a productive member of the 2020 team.

Honestly very excited about Cam Newton and hoping his fitness and leadership sustain us this year. Would be amazing to see the Pats not miss a beat in continuing at the top of the AFC, not least of which for the national teeth grinding that would accompany it.
 

54thMA

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Jimbodandy

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I'm buying what he's selling too, I can't wait to see what he can do with this offense week to week.

I trust Josh will design plays to work to his strengths.

Can't wait for Sunday night.
I'm psyched to see more of Josh's new plays as well, but I'm equally psyched to see Cam executing more of the standard offense also.

Love the option stuff, but his read and throw to Izzo after he sat down in that zone was gold. If Cam continues to learn and execute the old stuff and the new stuff, this offense might be half decent.

Edit: the slant that he threw to Harry off an overload on the left side of the line was another of the good reads/throws too. I'm sure that I'm forgetting one.
 

E5 Yaz

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Ouch ... Kyed doesn't really travel in this lane much, but it lines up with what some here have said

@DougKyed

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I really, truly do not want to be this guy. But, Nick Chubb ran through more contact on that play alone than Sony Michel has in his entire Patriots career.
 

SMU_Sox

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Ouch ... Kyed doesn't really travel in this lane much, but it lines up with what some here have said

@DougKyed
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I really, truly do not want to be this guy. But, Nick Chubb ran through more contact on that play alone than Sony Michel has in his entire Patriots career.
Chubb was the RB I wanted them to take that year. Now in all fairness I liked Sony too and thought he'd be a good fit. One of the hard things with the draft is you don't know how healthy/explosive a guy is or if the injuries have begun to take their toll. With Sony I've gone back the past two years and rewatched some of his games as a Bulldog and compared them with his tenure as a Patriot. Last year for example he was a shell of himself at UGA. But...

I finished the Pats Fins game this morning. A couple things. Holy shit can Onwenu move people. On that first Sony run for 7 yards he blows up two people including tossing E-Rob (yes our former LB) and he goes FLYING. Onwenu gets in the way too which is not his fault but slows Sony down just a tick. Obviously 7 yards is a successful play but it might have been a 10-15 yarder if not for that - of course if he doesn't have to stay in to block both people Sony might be hit for a 2 yard gain so YMMV.
Sony also had good burst and moved the pile. Like on his next run for 4 yards on a 2nd and 5 he is hit after 2 yards and with 3 guys on him grinds out 2 more yards legs still moving. I didn't see that kind of churn last year - when he would get hit he would just go down. I thought Sony got more than what the line gave him - it wasn't elite by any means but it was a solid B/B+ job.

Onwenu on the 3rd and 1 (same drive) gets E-Rob again. He basically takes him from the strongside TE spot all the way to right tackle. He is NASTY. He is mean. He does not quit on blocks.

When he is RT he has the similar success moving DLs. He had some issues in pass pro as a RT which led to a hurry, Cam Tripping, and a sack, but he didn't play LT or RT at Michigan so expect some growing pains there. And in other RT snaps in pass pro he looks really good. He's busy too - he gets the award for successfully blocking the most guys per play. He can get to the second level quickly as well as outside on end-arounds. I was impressed! He didn't just look OK as an RT he had some genuinely great moments there. Look, Onwenu was one of my guys going into this thing but not even in my wildest dreams would I have said that he could play RT effectively. Take for example Taylor's 11 yard run. He sealed off Ogbah to spring Taylor free like it was nothing. After that first sack in which Newton trips he had a fine day in pass pro.

Last note: Wynn was EXQUISITE in pass pro. A+ there. So in theory you might want to give Onwenu some help if he plays RT against faster rushers BUT the plus there is he will demolish anyone in the run game.
 

EL Jeffe

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Chubb was the RB I wanted them to take that year. Now in all fairness I liked Sony too and thought he'd be a good fit. One of the hard things with the draft is you don't know how healthy/explosive a guy is or if the injuries have begun to take their toll. With Sony I've gone back the past two years and rewatched some of his games as a Bulldog and compared them with his tenure as a Patriot. Last year for example he was a shell of himself at UGA. But...

I finished the Pats Fins game this morning. A couple things. Holy shit can Onwenu move people. On that first Sony run for 7 yards he blows up two people including tossing E-Rob (yes our former LB) and he goes FLYING. Onwenu gets in the way too which is not his fault but slows Sony down just a tick. Obviously 7 yards is a successful play but it might have been a 10-15 yarder if not for that - of course if he doesn't have to stay in to block both people Sony might be hit for a 2 yard gain so YMMV.
Sony also had good burst and moved the pile. Like on his next run for 4 yards on a 2nd and 5 he is hit after 2 yards and with 3 guys on him grinds out 2 more yards legs still moving. I didn't see that kind of churn last year - when he would get hit he would just go down. I thought Sony got more than what the line gave him - it wasn't elite by any means but it was a solid B/B+ job.

Onwenu on the 3rd and 1 (same drive) gets E-Rob again. He basically takes him from the strongside TE spot all the way to right tackle. He is NASTY. He is mean. He does not quit on blocks.

When he is RT he has the similar success moving DLs. He had some issues in pass pro as a RT which led to a hurry, Cam Tripping, and a sack, but he didn't play LT or RT at Michigan so expect some growing pains there. And in other RT snaps in pass pro he looks really good. He's busy too - he gets the award for successfully blocking the most guys per play. He can get to the second level quickly as well as outside on end-arounds. I was impressed! He didn't just look OK as an RT he had some genuinely great moments there. Look, Onwenu was one of my guys going into this thing but not even in my wildest dreams would I have said that he could play RT effectively. Take for example Taylor's 11 yard run. He sealed off Ogbah to spring Taylor free like it was nothing. After that first sack in which Newton trips he had a fine day in pass pro.

Last note: Wynn was EXQUISITE in pass pro. A+ there. So in theory you might want to give Onwenu some help if he plays RT against faster rushers BUT the plus there is he will demolish anyone in the run game.
Thanks SMU, I always look forward to your analysis. Do you have the All-22? If so, did N'Keal end up running any 2nd or 3rd level routes? If he did, any separation at all? (l listened to Cassell on the Curran/Phil Perry podcast this morning and Cassell was really down on Harry. His bluntness was pretty shocking, to be honest.) Any feel for Anfernee Jennings's speed? No combine or pro day, so I was curious to see his play speed at ILB at this level. I thought his play speed was generally marginal at Alabama, but I don't know how much of that was lingering knee injury recovery, picking his spots, or just a lack of natural speed. While he did have some nice speed rushes off the edge in college, I didn't see much in the way of pursuit speed in the games I watched.
 

Super Nomario

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Thanks SMU, I always look forward to your analysis. Do you have the All-22? If so, did N'Keal end up running any 2nd or 3rd level routes? If he did, any separation at all? (l listened to Cassell on the Curran/Phil Perry podcast this morning and Cassell was really down on Harry. His bluntness was pretty shocking, to be honest.) Any feel for Anfernee Jennings's speed? No combine or pro day, so I was curious to see his play speed at ILB at this level. I thought his play speed was generally marginal at Alabama, but I don't know how much of that was lingering knee injury recovery, picking his spots, or just a lack of natural speed. While he did have some nice speed rushes off the edge in college, I didn't see much in the way of pursuit speed in the games I watched.
I went through and watched every offensive snap for N'Keal, and he did not run much deep, and did not get any separation when he did. He ran a couple wheel routes (which makes sense, because he ran a ton of flat routes). On the sack where Cam fell down, Harry ran a deep fly, against Byron Jones I think, but couldn't work his way off press. I saw what looked like an out-and-up on a play that ended up being a pass to White early in the third. There was also that weird play where it looked like White was setting up to pass; it looked like it was designed for Harry (none of the other eligibles were running a route) but the Dolphins weren't fooled.

Positive takeaway: he lined up everywhere, which fits him better than just lining him up at X like they did so much last year. It presumably also indicates a level of familiarity with the offense.
Negative takeaway: he still looks really bad against press. He caught the one slant working against Jones, but he didn't really get much separation there, and he was largely erased by any kind of press. Even catch man seemed to confound him. He was basically schemed open on three of his five catches; that's probably going to need to continue for him to produce. Dolphins CBs are good though, so maybe I'm being too hard on him.
Weird takeaway: he played all but 13 snaps, but about half the plays he sat out were in the red zone. Some of that was the late super jumbo sets with zero receivers, but they also put in an Edelman / Meyers / Byrd 11 package on the first red zone trip. Maybe just trying to spread things out in a compressed space, but it's worth watching going forward.
 

54thMA

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As well as Cam played, this seems like one of those plays Brady would have had:

View: https://twitter.com/PatriotsFilm/status/1306658643727790080?s=20


A wide, wide open Michel missed by not changing the protection and give himself time to check down.
By changing the protection I assume you mean pick up the edge rusher who blew up that play?

If someone had picked him up, Cam has time to check down as you said and I'd assume time to find a wide open Michel.................
 

JerBear

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By changing the protection I assume you mean pick up the edge rusher who blew up that play?

If someone had picked him up, Cam has time to check down as you said and I'd assume time to find a wide open Michel.................
Who is going to pick up the extra rusher if he changed to protection? They brought 6 against 5.
 

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@Super Nomario Thank you - that was illuminating. Honestly since watching tape still takes me a lot of time I can't get to each grouping. Like this week was RB, OL, DL, LB and JJW and Dugger. No time for TE except for when the TE was an OL (TE in name only, TEINO??).

As noted I looked at the front 7.

Some things stood out to me: Cowart is a force at DT. They had him lined up as a shaded NT and he did well there. He kicked Ted's ass at center all day long. He would use his lack of great balance against him and killed him with the push-pull. He also has some sand in the pants and is doing better at taking on double teams this year although he has work there to do. Still, he has taken a big leap this year. Rivers is fast as fuck. He also has a good long-arm that he can use with a dip and rip and he is off to the races. As a situational pass rusher he actually looks like he has a good amount of juice this year! Excited for him. Wino has also made a huge leap. Guy can set an edge and is excellent in the twist/stunt game. He is always looking for work too and will make a play on the backside with hustle...
Wise held up against the run this year too - you can tell he is stronger. he went toe-to-toe with their RT and dominated him on runs. They tried to pick on Wise early too and he had NONE of it.
Bentley, Jennings, Phillips, and Copeland all did their job as ILBs.
Maybe no one is elite in the front 7 but you have a lot of B to A- level starters and they work well together. I am excited because of their versatility and potential.
 

soxhop411

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CaptainLaddie

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Cam is so outstandingly fun to watch and root for. I've loved him since Auburn, and he was a longtime dynasty QB for me in fantasy, so I've grown attached to him.

He was spectacular tonight. What a joy.
 

soxhop411

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Some post game quotes from Newton
View: https://twitter.com/RyanHannable/status/1307899768316854272
Cam Newton on the final play: "It was a great play by them. ... Felt confident about it, just need to execute." Said the team had called it a few times earlier in the game.
View: https://twitter.com/McKennAnalysis/status/1307900248606543872
Cam Newton on the final play: "I figure we just went to the well too many times. ... I could've bounced it. ... I've just got to be better."
View: https://twitter.com/ZackCoxNESN/status/1307900950632435712
Newton on N'Keal Harry: "Doughboy has grown in front of everyone's eyes." Harry shattered his previous career highs with eight catches for 72 yards, including 13- and 17-yarders on the final drive.
View: https://twitter.com/DougKyed/status/1307900962833604608
Cam on why he kept going back to Edelman at the end: "It's Jules. That's why."
M
“@DougKyed: Cam says there’s two plays he would have liked to have back, including the last one.”
“@DougKyed: Cam thinks he could have bounced the final play to the edge.

“I’ve just got to be better.””
And the last quote from him before he left the PC
View: https://twitter.com/RyanHannable/status/1307901874054615042
Cam Newton on the loss: This is a disgusting taste in my mouth.
 
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Marciano490

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I really love Newton. What a fun, great guy to root for and seems like an outstanding teammate.
 

NortheasternPJ

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Cam is doing this with a pretty mediocre receiving corps, which makes it that much more impressive.
Cam looked way more comfortable, was going to second or third options and put some balls in perfect spots. His arm looks great. If they can get any pressure on D they’re winning a lot of games. Last night sucked they lost but hugely encouraging.
 

johnmd20

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And garbage Sony Michel at RB...

Harris will never have a better opportunity when he returns.
Considering how often no name running backs come out of nowhere to look incredible, Sony's skill level and performance is particularly horrendous considering he was a number 1 draft pick. Harry, at least, has a chance to get better.(although that is still up for debate) Michel is just a colossal bust. He is so bad. Watching him is also so frustrating, because he is slow and he falls over when the wind hits him at 5 mph. Any contact and he's right on the ground.
 

Shelterdog

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And garbage Sony Michel at RB...

Harris will never have a better opportunity when he returns.
I’d want to watch the all 22 but he’s not that bad. He didn’t have a lot of room to run and was consistently getting hit at or behind the line of scrimmage. The run game stunk, maybe his usage is too predictable, sure, but it’s not like any of their other backs have had more success this season either.
 

Bowhemian

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I’d want to watch the all 22 but he’s not that bad. He didn’t have a lot of room to run and was consistently getting hit at or behind the line of scrimmage. The run game stunk, maybe his usage is too predictable, sure, but it’s not like any of their other backs have had more success this season either.
I only watched the first half, but it looked like he was running harder, hitting the hole with purpose. Too often in prior games he would hesitate and do a little stutter step, which I didn’t see him do last night, at least in the first half.
 

BigSoxFan

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I’d want to watch the all 22 but he’s not that bad. He didn’t have a lot of room to run and was consistently getting hit at or behind the line of scrimmage. The run game stunk, maybe his usage is too predictable, sure, but it’s not like any of their other backs have had more success this season either.
Will respectfully disagree. He stinks. He runs slower and less powerful than basically every RB we’ll see this year. Even Hyde looked better. Burkhead always looks better. Sony is trash and we need to move on once Harris is back. Or, at least give Harris a real chance to win the job, as he was about to do before his injury.
 

Shelterdog

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Will respectfully disagree. He stinks. He runs slower and less powerful than basically every RB we’ll see this year. Even Hyde looked better. Burkhead always looks better. Sony is trash and we need to move on once Harris is back. Or, at least give Harris a real chance to win the job, as he was about to do before his injury.
if he’s as bad as you say he is they should cut him today and pick up someone of the street. And if he is that bad I think that’s what BB would do, first round status or not.
I don’t think you’re right. I saw a reasonable back who was getting swarmed at or behind the line of scrimmage on slow developing plays by defenses that were playing the run. But BBs actions will speak louder than anybody our words so I think we’ll just shave to see what happens as the season evolves
 

BigSoxFan

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if he’s as bad as you say he is they should cut him today and pick up someone of the street. And if he is that bad I think that’s what BB would do, first round status or not.
I don’t think you’re right. I saw a reasonable back who was getting swarmed at or behind the line of scrimmage on slow developing plays by defenses that were playing the run. But BBs actions will speak louder than anybody our words so I think we’ll just shave to see what happens as the season evolves
That’s just not good logic. We’re down a RB so there is little depth. Once Harris is back, I think his role diminishes. And I think there is 0 chance Sony plays a prominent role next year. I certainly wouldn’t rule out a cut at some point.

Sony wasn’t the reason the running game stunk last night but he’s a big part of the problem.
 

Shelterdog

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That’s just not good logic. We’re down a RB so there is little depth. Once Harris is back, I think his role diminishes. And I think there is 0 chance Sony plays a prominent role next year. I certainly wouldn’t rule out a cut at some point.

Sony wasn’t the reason the running game stunk last night but he’s a big part of the problem.
The logic is sound; you’re the one saying he stinks and is awful and can’t play and if that actually is true instead of being inane hyperbole then you’d cut him even if you are short handed because running back is such an easy spot to fill.