For the first time since 2016, the New England Patriots will start a season without Tom Brady under center as Quarterback. The difference is this time, he isn’t coming back after 4 games. For many Patriots fans, the first offensive series against the Miami Dolphins in Week 1 is going to be hard to watch. Tom Brady spent 20 magical years in New England that will never be forgotten. Six Super Bowl championships later, Brady is considered the best QB of all time. Wide Receiver, Julian Edelman took the departure of Tom Brady hard but as he said in a press conference at the start of training camp “We played a lot of ball together. I love him to death. But the train keeps moving”. The train truly does keep moving so let’s talk about the new “QB1” in Foxborough, Cam Newton.
In 2015 Newton was named MVP of the National Football League and led his Carolina Panthers to Superbowl 50. The Carolina Panthers lost that Superbowl to the Denver Broncos and Newton has never been the same. Injuries the past couple of years have changed the way Cam has been able to play. This offseason, Carolina cut Cam Newton after new coach Matt Rhule decided to go in another direction and sign free agent Teddy Bridgewater. Cam Newton went from being league MVP to without a job in the NFL within five years. After a couple of months, the New England Patriots called Newton and struck a team-friendly deal that would benefit both parties. Cam signed a 1-year $1.05 million contract. With incentives, Cam can make up to $7.5 million. That sounds like a good deal, right?
The post-Tom Brady era isn’t going to be easy. However, with a healthy Cam Newton, the sky is the limit with this team. COVID-19 has thrown a monkey wrench into this season and has been the subject of conversation on every sports talk show in the United States. The Patriots have a league-high 8 players that have opted out of the 2020 season. Brandon Bolden, Marcus Cannon, Patrick Chung, Dont’a Hightower, Marqise Lee, Najee Toran, Danny Vitale, and Matt LaCosse have decided to opt-out of the 2020 season. Each of these eight players will be truly missed. Still, one of Bill Belichick’s favorite phrases is “next man up” This motto will be truly tested this season for the New England Patriots.
Know Your Enemy
Let’s get to know the Miami Dolphins and what to expect come Sunday afternoon:
Miami’s offense had its ups and downs in 2019. Ryan Fitzpatrick has been in the league for over 15 years and has been on eight teams in that span. Not every stop has been a success for Fitzpatrick, but he has been stable.
Ryan’s main receiver is DeVante Parker. Stephon Gilmore will be one-on-one with Parker the whole game. Preston Williams is expected to play a pivotal role in Miami’s receiving game, as well.
Miami picked up running backs Jordan Howard and Matt Breida in the offseason, and should serve as a dangerous duo out of the backfield.
Mike Gesicki is an excellent blocking tight end and creates mismatches in coverage. New England’s defense has historically struggled to cover tight ends with linebackers. This has forced them to use safeties and corners to cover fast tight ends.
–Robert Marcello is a Staff Writer for Full Press Coverage, and covers the New England Patriots. Follow him on Twitter @RobertMarcello5