Goalkeeper Greg Van Roten has spent the past three seasons with the Panthers, and this race has given him a glimpse of what quarterback Cam Newton can do on the field when he is not too injured to play.
Van Roten has signed with the Jets as a free agent this offseason, so he may have some chances of seeing Newton on the opposing touchline this season. Newton has signed a one-year contract 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 it bring to the Patriots?” Van Roten said on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “It’s really terrifying to think that if Cam Newton is in good health and he’s in the attack on Belichick, you know, in my division, it could be a long year for the other teams, because he changes the given. He entered the league, you know, he’s a quintessential player in the league, he brought a team to the Super Bowl – he’s just built differently from a lot of quarterbacks. And it’s a puzzle for the game plan. So when he is in good health, you can stop him, but then you have to defend the pass. If you can stop the pass, well, you have to take the race into account. So it’s basically, choose one thing and it will do the other. And then you pair it up with Belichick, who only cares about winning and Cam really wants to prove himself, so it’s definitely a recipe for disaster for the rest of the league if they can figure it out. ”
Newton’s training videos have shown a player who looks physically ready for the coming season, but it’s been a long time since he’s been on the field and there are questions to be answered about any lasting record of the two last years. If these answers are positive, Van Roten will probably not be alone in the hope that life will be difficult for New England’s opponents.