Guard Greg Van Roten spent the last three seasons with the Panthers and that run gave him an up-close look at what quarterback Cam Newton is capable of doing on the field when he isn’t too injured to play.
Van Roten signed with the Jets as a free agent this offseason, so he may get a couple of chances to see Newton from the opposing sideline this season. Newton has signed a one-year deal with the Patriots and Van Roten thinks pairing him with New England head coach Bill Belichick has the potential to make life difficult for the rest of the league.
“What does he bring to the Patriots?” Van Roten said on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “It’s definitely terrifying to think if Cam Newton’s healthy and he’s in Belichick’s offense, you know, in my division, it could be a long year for the other teams, because he’s a game changer. He came into the league, you know, he’s a league MVP, brought a team to the Super Bowl — he’s just built differently than a lot of quarterbacks. And he’s a headache to game plan for. So when he’s healthy, you can stop the run from him, but then you gotta defend the pass. If you can stop the pass, well then you’ve got to account for the run. So, it’s basically, pick one thing and he’ll do the other. And then you couple him with Belichick, who only cares about winning and Cam really wants to prove himself, so it’s definitely a recipe for disaster for the rest of the league if they can figure it out.”
Newton’s workout videos have shown a player who seems to be physically ready for the season to come, but it’s been a long time since he’s been on the field and there are questions to answer about any lasting toll the last two years may have taken. If those answers are positive, Van Roten probably won’t be alone in the expectation that life will be tough for New England’s opponents.