Cam Newton works to speed up his decision making in the New England offense

New England Patriots Training Camp
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In the New England quarterback competition, incumbent starter Cam Newton hopes to hold off rookie Mac Jones. As explained by Tom Curran of NBC Sports Boston, one key factor for Newton will be his ability to make quicker decisions while running the offense.

Curran asked Newton on Friday a simple and direct question regarding the speed with which the plays are developing: “What’s taking so long?”

That’s what training camp’s all about,” Newton said. “Of course, we have this mental in our head that, in the classroom or when we’re meeting, coach asks a question — boom, that’s where we’re supposed to go with the ball. [On the field it’s like], ‘OK, now you’ve got Devin McCourty showing something. Kyle Dugger’s showing something. Then all of a sudden, [Dont’a] Hightower jumps over here and all of a sudden, it’s like, ‘What do I do? What do I do? What do I do? It’ just taking the brain a little longer at times. But hopefully with a lot of repetitions, it’ll be good.”

Per Curran, Jones seems to be operating the offense with the desired rhythm. Curran has a different view of Newton’s opportunities.

“He’s had some positively ponderous reps where he’s held the ball well past five seconds,” Curran writes. “It’s actually uncomfortable to watch as he stands in the pocket, pats the ball, scans, rescans and then throws. Often, those interminable drops have resulted in incompletions or — in the case of a throw on Day One — a throw delivered late, hot and uncatchable that turns into an interception.”

There’s still a long way to go. The Patriots haven’t even put on pads yet. Newton, who clearly has a more expansive skill set than the rookie, is preaching patience.

That’s fine, but it’s unclear how much patience the Patriots will have with Newton. Coach Bill Belichick will go with the guy who gives the team the best chance to win games, with an eye (whether he admits it or not) on Week Four, when Tom Brady returns to town. The player who best runs the offense presumably will be viewed as the one who gives the team the best chance to win.

15 responses to “Cam Newton works to speed up his decision making in the New England offense

  1. Hopefully after he decides where he’s going to throw, his “putting the ball into the WR’s hands” process has improved as well.

  2. There is no way Newton will look better than Jones in preseason games.

    Look at what Curran is describing. It sucks Stidham has had surgery because both Jones and Stidham would prove to be the clear fits over Newton. Newton had all day to throw last year and was just horrible missing timing and wide open guys.

  3. Its funny how I read different takes on Newton that tell paint such a wide variety of pictures. He’s great, he’s awful. Back and forth. I’m gonna have to just watch the games I guess.

  4. I can’t wait to see how quickly he decides which WR to under throw this season!

  5. That was one of the big problems with Cam last season, especially after he had covid and the brain fog lingered

    I don’t see him holding off Mac Jones for more than a few games.

  6. Even the legendary Belichick can’t fix stupid.


    The legendary coach and his assistant coaches have no clue how the system works (throwing receivers IN FRONT OF DEFENDERS), even after 20 years, and forces it onto Cam.

    He must either give Cam or Mac Jones great receivers who are great at GETTING BEHIND DEFENDERS. Peyton, Rodgers, Brees and Mahomes all need such WR, what makes Pats fans so delusional that Cam and Mac Jones will be difference?

  7. “Cam Newton works to speed up his decision making in the New England offense”

    Translated: “Cam Newton works to speed up poor decision making and increase INT’s.”

  8. 5-seconds is a longggg time in the NFL. I’m surprised they don’t stop the play by then… teach him he doesn’t have that long.

  9. That quick decision making better result with the ball in the receivers hands

  10. That quick decision making better result with the ball in the receivers hands


    That doesn’t matter. As long as a QB can throw beautiful passes to WR BEHIND defenders, he will be able to identify opportunities in advance and make decisions quickly.

    — system expert since 2001.

  11. He also needs to work on his throwing mechanics. They looked bad last season.

  12. Another self described expert. The emperor has no clothes.

    I’m begging p6. Give it up with Stidham. Grow up, admit you were wrong and move on to the next bag of….

  13. Word out of New England here is that the coaches are timing his release with an hourglass

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