Jon Gruden Impressed With How Efficiently Patriots Changed Gears From Tom Brady to Cam Newton
With COVID-19 ravaging the country over the past several months and stunting the NFL offseason, it's impressive to see any team in the NFL that has hit the ground running when the regular season kicked off. That includes the New England Patriots, who have a full-time starting quarterback under center not named Tom Brady for the first time in two decades.
When speaking to Patriots media on Wednesday, Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden expressed his impression of how New England has transitioned to the post-Tom Brady era.
"Cam looks like he's the usual Cam. He's a threat to do a lot of different things," Gruden said when asked what his evaluation is of how Cam Newton has looked through the first two weeks of the regular season. "It's a credit to the Patriots. I think it's a real credit to their coaching staff to be able to change gears that fast that well. I guess you would expect that from the Patriots coaching staff. But he's impressive, and the way that they've changed gears is very impressive as well."
Through two regular season games, Newton has 552 passing yards, one passing touchdown, one interception and four rushing scores. He's on an MVP pace, albeit very early in the season, which is wild when considering he did not sign with New England until June 28.
Without being a part of the offseason program and with no preseason games or joint practices this summer, Newton was able to grasp the way things work in Foxboro over the matter of just a couple months. He was a key cog to a win in New England's season opener against the Miami Dolphins and kept New England alive until the final play in a very competitive loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2.
Las Vegas has momentum in their favor heading into Week 3, however, as they are coming off a big 34-24 win over the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football. The Raiders defense did go against a Saints offense that didn't have wideout Michael Thomas, who is top 5 receiver in the league. But there's something to be said for the fact that Las Vegas dominated possession due to an elite run game and quarterback Derek Carr, who threw for over 250 yards and three touchdowns. Their offensive efficiency forced New Orleans to become one-dimensional in the second half, which worked in Las Vegas' favor.
If the Patriots want to string together some wins moving forward they'll need to establish a consistent run game. But that won't be very easy against this red-hot Raiders team.
Cam Newton will have his most efficient game to date as a runner and passer to come out with a win in Week 3.
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