Washington head coach Ron Rivera will no longer be working with Cam Newton as his quarterback. But while Rivera is with Washington and Newton now with the New England Patriots, Rivera believes his former quarterback has a good chance at returning to his former form.
“He’s headed in the right direction,” Rivera said on 670 The Score. “I mean, he’s probably about as healthy as it gets from what I’ve seen on video. I think he’s ready to bust out.
“I would never bet against the young man, that’s for sure.”
Rivera and Newton spent nine years connected together as head coach and quarterback for the Panthers. Rivera was let go after last season as the Panthers wanted to change things up under new owner David Tepper. Newton was released by Carolina in late March after the initial waves of free agency had already come to pass.
Newton has been banged up the last few seasons. He’s twice had to have his throwing shoulder operated on and also missed 14 games last season due to a Lisfranc sprain in his foot. With teams unable to get an in-person look at Newton due to COVID-19 in free agency, he remained unsigned until the Patriots finally signed him to a one-year deal on Sunday.
“Don’t bet against him,” Rivera reiterated. “I really wouldn’t. First of all, you got to know who he is and understand what all he’s gone through. He’s a guy that’s always tried to do things, I think, because he’s felt the pressure. He felt the pressure of being the No. 1 overall pick. He felt the pressure of having won the Heisman Trophy and being the No. 1 overall pick. He felt the pressure of being a black quarterback, with all the stuff that’s been heaped on him.
“He’s really had to find his way through it, and he’s done a great job with it.”
Newton now gets to pair with Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels as he tries to get back to the type of player he was when he won the league MVP in 2015 with the Panthers.