The guard Greg Van Roten spent the last three seasons with the Panthers and that run gave him a careful look at what quarterback Cam Newton can do on the field when he is not too injured to play.
Van Roten signed with the Jets as a free agent this season, so he can get a few chances to see Newton from the opposite sideline this season. Newton has signed an annual deal with the Patriots and Van Roten believes 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?” Said Van Roten on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “It’s definitely scary to think if Cam Newton is 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 an MVP league, brought a team to the Super Bowl – he’s just built differently than many quarterbacks. And he’s a headache to play plan for. So when he is healthy you can stop driving from him, but then you have to defend the pass. If you can stop the pass, well, you must report the run. So that’s basically, pick one thing and he does the other. And then you pair him with Belichick, who just cares about winning and Cam really wants to prove himself, so it’s definitely a disaster recipe for the rest of the league if they can figure it out. “
Newton’s training films have shown a player who seems to be physically ready for the season ahead, but it’s been a long time since he’s been on the pitch and there are questions to answer for any lasting toll the last two years may have taken. If these answers are positive, Van Roten will probably not be alone in the expectation that life will be tough for New England’s opponents.