Here’s how Bill Belichick rated Cam Newton in 2017: “He’s the hardest guy to deal with.”

Bill Belichick has long been an admirer of the talent Cam Newton brings to the table and knows full well about the anger that talent can bring down on an opposing team. You have experienced it first hand. For his career, Newton is 2-0 against New England, while completing 71.93% of his passes for 525 yards, six touchdowns and just one interception. The former league MVP also ran 15 times for 106 yards and an additional score against Belichick in those two games. Now, after agreeing on a one-year deal to bring Newton to Foxborough, Belichick will have a chance to take a closer look at that talent and possibly elect Newton as the quarterback that marks the beginning of the post-Tom Brady era in 2020. .

In truth, Belichick didn’t even need those two confrontations to fully understand and appreciate Newton’s skill. Leading his Week 4 competition during the 2017 season, a game in which Newton led the Panthers to Gillette Stadium, added four touchdowns and walked away with a 33-30 win. Belichick praised his new quarterback as one of the best moving signals. -callers in the league.

“I think when it comes to mobile quarterbacks, guys who are hard to handle, tackle, throw, run and make good decisions. I mean, it would put Newton at the top of the list,” Belichick said at the time. . “I’m not saying there aren’t a lot of other good players who do that, but I would say that of all the guys we played or have played recently in the past few years, I would definitely put it, he’s the hardest guy to deal with.

“He makes good decisions, he can run, he is strong, he is difficult to tackle. He can do many different things, beat you in many different ways. We saw that in the game back in ’13, so I would put him at the top of the Ready. I’m not saying the other guys aren’t a problem, because they are, but he’s the number 1 public enemy. “

Of course, Newton isn’t exactly the spring chicken that he was during his early days with the Panthers, thanks to a series of injuries, including a fracture of Lisfranc in 2019. Still, the 31-year-old isn’t that far from doing. special games with your feet.

This type of skill has not existed in New England for the past two decades under the center. With Tom Brady at the helm, the Patriots executed a more traditional pro-style offense that featured heavily with Brady quickly getting the ball out on short and intermediate routes. As this new era begins, they are likely to drift further away from that focus in 2020.

Belichick has already stated this offseason that New England will attend the offense to whoever the quarterback is in 2020. If Newton really does secure the starting point for the Belichick team for this season, he will open the playbook for the Patriots and It will bring offense today and highlight that dynamic running ability that Newton possesses along with his arm.

Rather than having to face “public enemy number 1,” Belichick now has the luxury of deploying it to his delight.