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Reaction to Cam Newton’s Patriots Signing – A Paper-Test Analysis

DTJ July 4, 2020 18


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This post is probably a little late, and then again, maybe it’s not. There has been a bit of reaction since news dropped that Cam Newton signed a one year deal to join the New England Patriots. The move has led sports fans to pontificate on everything from the Patriots real quarterback situation to their projected super bowl contender-ship to an anticipated Bucs – Patriots Super Bowl and everything else in between. On paper, the signing seems both smart and low risk or reactionary and short-sighted. I would argue that your view on the move is being influenced by the paper you’re viewing it on. Walk with me for a moment.

If viewed on the backdrop of scratch paper, the signing looks decent. Scratch paper is used for those quick and dirty calculations to solve an equation or for doodling an idea or outlining with no real definition. On the surface, Cam’s talent should bolster the Patriots’ offensive abilities. Plus, under Belichick’s proven structure and great leadership, only good things can happen, Right?

Credit @MiLLaXB1 on Twitter

If viewed in the backdrop of graph paper, the signing looks a little disjointed. Graph paper is typically used for more detailed drawings such as in geometry and architecture and is often aided by some tools such as a ruler or protractor, which help define precise angles and lines. Technically, how will Cam adjust to being in a new offense with less play-calling freedom or leeway to divert from the script? Also, how much of his natural personality will he need to “control” to remain in favor with Belichick’s reserved preference of team conduct? Finally, how healthy is Cam anyway? If he’s not 100% or even if he is, will his throwing accuracy be on point, in an offense that demands perfection to be successful? No one questions Cam arm strength, but if his accuracy is off, I project he either won’t be the starter by week five or would have been benched by then.

Credit @TheRinger.com

If viewed on the backdrop of construction paper, you are probably cautiously optimistic. Construction paper is designed for those drawings where more surface area is needed to capture a full image. It’s used effectively to construct banners for protest, sporting events, or anything fan related. You could also doodle on it like you would scratch paper or use it for technical drawings like graph paper. Their point is to help whatever is drawn on them to stand out and last over time. Imagine Cam lined up under center across from a division rival like the Jets week 17 at Gillette Stadium with the division or a playoff birth on the line. In this moment and imagine, are you optimistic or scared about what such an image reveals to you?

The truth is, it’s all speculative at this point. One of the beautiful things about sports is that things rarely go as planned. The unpredictability is what drives ratings. I hope Cam does well in this situation though it will be weird to see anyone under center for the Patriots not named Brady.  

Aug 11, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) walks across the field during warm ups before the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

I’ve been a fan of his since his days at Auburn. I rooted for him, and the Panthers in that eventual Super Bowl 50 loss to the Broncos (That Denver defense was mean that year –Von Miller, The No-Fly Zone , one of the best Defenses ever.) It would be nice for Cam to be able to cap his career with a ring just so long as he doesn’t beat my Cleveland Browns to do it. After all, I’m a Cam fan, not a Patriots fan.

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