To longtime offensive coordinator Norv Turner, it was so obvious.
As the last guy to call plays for Cam Newton when he was anything approaching healthy, the veteran assistant saw New England as the perfect fit, and he told coach Bill Belichick so.
Turner told Albert Breer of SI.com that he spoke with Belichick about Newton earlier this offseason, and gave his full endorsement.
“My whole deal is, when Cam was healthy, and we were there with him [in 2018], we were 6–2,” Turner said. “Just look at the tape—played his ass off. His issue was more health than anything else, and from what I understand, I don’t think these are health issues that he can’t overcome. He’s had the time off now. I think he’ll be great.”
Those health issues are still significant. A foot problem wiped out last season, and there’s a bright-line difference in Newton in 2018 before and after a game against the Steelers, when he was whacked on the shoulder and had to be managed the rest of the year.
In those first eight games, it appeared Turner had gotten him back to his 2015 MVP level. Newton was 177-of-263 for 1,893 yards, with 15 touchdowns and just four interceptions. He also had four rushing touchdowns in those first eight games, as Turner found a smart blend of Newton and Christian McCaffrey, and had Newton playing more efficiently than he had previously.
That suggested to him that putting Newton with a coach known for putting players in positions they can flourish makes sense.
“I think it’ll be really good for Cam,” Turner said. “And I think it’ll be good for the Patriots.”
And if anyone has the opportunity to know, it would be Turner.