McGinley: To Cam Newton, with hope, I think
Mannion McGinley | Tuesday, October 6, 2020
Dear Mr. Newton,
Welcome to New England. You’re much closer to my home right now than I am, but let me just say thank you for being there. You’ve brought new life to the quarterback position at Gillette Stadium and I could not be more grateful, nor could Foxborough.
While I should’ve known more, I admit that anytime your name came up before you arrived, I could see in my head two things. I’d see your impeccable game day outfits, and I’d see the Panther’s Super Bowl L entrance including Steph Curry and the drum.
Then the announcement came: Cam Newton was going to replace Tom Brady.
First emotion: hesitant.
You had just been injured and had been sidelined for the season after two losses. That wasn’t exactly promising, but the struggle was mainly due to the pain in your foot according to CBS Sports so that was understandable.
Second emotion: relief.
As much as I love Jarrett Stidham, none of us were sure how long he had been in on Brady’s decision to leave. We know he had been training under Brady for a long while, but was he briefed? Was he ready to be a starter? Would he ever be? These weren’t questions of doubt but instead, sheer wonderings. How much had Belichick filled him in? Could he handle it — did we have any full proof outside of a solemn claim from Belichick that he could?
I much preferred that we had you coming in, a household name with an appearance in a Super Bowl under his belt even if it wasn’t a win. You knew what it meant to get there, and that’s what Belichick’s Patriots have been all about.
Third emotion: excitement.
In the last three seasons, the team has changed immensely. Gronk left, followed by a good portion of the defense and, the next year, Brady.
I applaud how well you have adjusted, with 149 rushing yards in three games — that’s more than Brady had from 2017 until Week 4 of 2020 combined.
With your ability to run, and Sony Michel, Rex Burkhead and J.J. Taylor by your side, you’ve created a powerful run game that can hold its own and creates a worry for defenses when they have to decide who to cover and when.
You and the new guys really hit it off too. With N’Keal Harry and David Byrd, both fairly new to the game and the Pats line up respectively, working with you has proven effective. Since you are also new to the roster, the three of you under a well-established coach like Belichick has been highly effective
And then there’s Edelman. Thank you for knowing how to use Edelman. Thank you for acknowledging who he is and what he can do and consistently being able to capitalize on that.
I intended to write using this week against the Kansas City Chiefs as a definitive yardstick for how well you could lead our beloved Pats to a winning record yet again, especially in the AFC. You started the season strong, but as you’re sick this week, I don’t want to make a judgment off of only three games so instead of writing with confidence, I write with hope.
Get well soon.
Notre Dame’s New Yorker Pats fan.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.