Sports | May 13, 2021 6:00 am

Tom Brady’s Throwing Coach Thinks Cam Newton Can Still Succeed With Patriots

Tom House, who has more than 20 NFL QBs as clients, says there is hope for Newton after a dismal 2020 season with New England

Cam Newton
Cam Newton at Patriots West offseason workouts in March of 2021.
Aubrey Lao/Getty

Though it is within the realm of possibility that rookie quarterback Mac Jones will be under center when the Patriots host the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Gillette Stadium on October 3rd, it will probably be Cam Newton who is taking snaps for the home team. For Patriots fans who watched Newton play last season in his first year under head coach Bill Belichick, deploying the 32-year-old to try to beat Brady — who will be 44 by the time the game is played — is a scary prospect indeed.

Newton was a model citizen in the locker room and said all the right things off the field last season for the Patriots, but he was woeful on the gridiron in his 15 starts, finishing the season with a career-low 2,657 passing yards to go along with eight passing TDs and 10 interceptions.

Re-signed by Belichick during the offseason and penciled in as the Week 1 starter for the Patriots despite the team taking Jones out of Alabama with the NFL Draft’s 15th pick, Newton will have his work cut out for him to erase the memories of last season. But according to his throwing coach Tom House, there is hope for a bounce-back.

House, who is sometimes called the “professor of throwing” and counts more than 20 pro QBs (including Brady) as clients, got to know Newton as he rehabbed from a shoulder injury during his time with the Carolina Panthers and considers him to be a “borderline” great athlete. Now that Newton should be fully past a lingering foot injury that may have hampered him at points last season and recovered from a bout with COVID-19 that sidelined him for a week and cost him valuable practice reps, House believes the former MVP will be able to put that athleticism back on display.

“I think the foot and getting COVID last year set Cam back and he never really caught up,” House tells InsideHook. “Quarterbacks throw with their feet basically. The quicker the feet, the quicker that release. If your foot hurts every time you move … Assuming all things are normal and that his foot is fine, I think you’ll see a much more efficient passer and a much more efficient offense being run because of that. He’s never going to process like Tom Brady and it’s going to be a bit different, but you’re going to see a better athlete who is throwing the ball better with a better familiarity of what is expected out of him.

Similar to what the Ravens have done in Baltimore with Lamar Jackson, House believes New England will further mold the high-precision Patriot offense to mesh with Newton’s skillset.

“It’s going to take some reframing by the coaching staff and Cam himself,” he says. “You can’t ask an athlete to do something that’s not in his skillset, but you can ask him to develop and work harder on something he hadn’t been working on before to make the fit better with the team he’s playing for. It’s not going to be a Brady-type offense, but it’ll be better than what you saw implemented last year. This year the learning curve isn’t going to be as steep. I firmly believe there’ll be a bounce-back by Cam.”

The bounce-back House expects from Newtown should be enough to make the Patriots, who went 7-9 last year, competitive once again in Belichick’s 22nd season as New England’s head coach.

“Belichick hasn’t been a loser anytime in his life,” House says. “No matter what chemistry issues, no matter what the roster looks like, he figures out a way to maximize it on both sides of the ball. I can’t say they’re going to go to the Super Bowl, but they’re going to be competitive, way more so than a year ago. I’m not a betting man, but if I was, I would never bet against the Patriots. They’re going to figure out a way to make it work.”

Is House confident enough in Newton and Belichick that he’d pick the Patriots to beat the Bucs and Brady in Week 4 of the season on Sunday Night Football?

“I’ll tell you, it’s hard,” he says. “I mentioned never betting against the Patriots. Well, I feel even stronger I would never bet against Tom Brady. When we work with him, for me, he hasn’t lost anything as far as his ability to throw the football. I don’t see a diminishing of his skill level at all. We proved it with Nolan Ryan. There’s no reason you can’t do at 45 what you did at 25 if you’re willing to follow a process and be committed to it. Brady’s been doing that. I’ve been involved with him going on nine years and his process is this overriding desire to get 1% better every day. That desire is just as strong as it was the first time I worked with him.”

Patriots fans are hoping Newton’s desire, and his arm, will be at least half that strong this season.