Cam Newton's first season with the New England Patriots was filled with highs and lows. After a strong start, the former NFL MVP battled health issues and a lack of perimeter weapons to post the worst passing stats of his career.
On Tuesday, Newton admitted to another reason for his struggles: he didn't feel fully comfortable in Josh McDaniels' offensive system. This isn't that surprising considering it was a brand new scheme and Newton wasn't signed until July 8, just a couple of weeks before training camp.
Now, with a season under his belt and a full offseason to get a firmer grasp of things, Newton is hoping for improved results in year two.
"It was up to me to learn it as much as possible, and I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to learn it as much as I can," Newton told reporters this afternoon. "Latter part of the season, it caught up to me, I was thinking too much."
It's not just Newton who feels he's made significant progress since last season. Patriots head Bill Belichick said as much today.
“Cam’s way ahead of where he was last year at this time, there’s no question about that,” Belichick said, via ProFootballTalk. “As you would expect, he has a good year of experience under his belt. He’s able to start the process at the beginning and not be in a catch-up mode like he was last year.”
New England drafted Alabama quarterback Mac Jones in the first round back in April, but there's no doubt that the starting job is Cam's entering the season. How well he's able to play will dictate how long that remains the case.