By Kevin McCaskill Jr.
The PatriotsWire, a USAToday website dedicated to New England Patriots news, published an article about a trainer making comments to a PatriotsWire reporter. This article, from a site I’ve never heard of, made its way to the pre-production lists of producers at ESPN and FS1( and potentially other outlets but 🤷🏽♂️).
The producers on the handful of shows that aired a segment on the article, somehow gleaned that the trainer was “taking shots” at Cam Newton, running QB for the New England Patriots. `
If the producers and/or the “on-air ‘talent’” had actually read the article, at least twice, they would, hopefully, have read a decent article, that in no way should have been fuel for a segment on national television.
The only reason this article makes it to the “mainstream”, is to alleviate the rightful blame and criticism off of Cam Newton, “The Genius Charlatan” Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels.
Of course, FP SPORTS read this article multiple times and here is what should have been taken away:
The first word I thought of after reading this article was “Accountability”. N’Keal Harry went out and hired Rischad Whitfield, the trainer who spoke with the PatriotsWire reporter. Harry knows he needs to get better and has things to work on. Also, Whitfield acknowledges that Harry needs to produce more, mainly because of his draft status.
There was only one quote from Whitfield that could be misconstrued as a “shot” at Newton. Whitfield was stating the obvious: Cam Newton has had trouble consistently throwing the 🏈 this season. Whitfield mentioned “mechanics”. FP SPORTS also mentioned mechanics here:
So, not only did Whitfield identify issues with Harry and state the obvious about Cam Newton, he was optimistic about both players. “I think next year will be better for both” - Whitfield. From how the article is written, it seems like these quotes weren’t from this week; they seem to be from at least a few weeks ago 🤷🏽♂️.
If the first helping of “Accountability” wasn’t enough for you, here is more 🥘. Whitfield identified two issues he still feels Harry needs work on: “release quickness” “getting separation of LoS”.
If Whitfield took a “shot” at anyone, it was probably Harry.
*[puts on FP SPORTS cape and ASU hat]*
Harry was born in Canada, moved to the Caribbean and finally landed in Arizona without either of his parents. The pressure of having to produce is a feeling/experience that people handle differently. Last season was his first setback in awhile. The regional criticism in New England is daily. The national criticism probably has your family and friends calling and texting. Coming off an injury and then getting shunned by Tom Brady, who some consider the “G.O.A.T, can also lead to some “mental” setbacks (doubting/second guessing yourself/your ability).
Harry has produced when Cam Newton can throw him the ball. The Patriots play 5-6 WR, 3 TE, and 2 pass catching RBs. Thats 10-11 options for Newton to throw to. Newton is averaging 25 att/gm. There have been 3 games where Harry only got 2 targets. He has dropped some passes; every receiver in the NFL has dropped passes. His hands aren’t the problem. Whitfield identified some issues and so has FP SPORTS:
N’Keal Harry’s career-high receiving game in the NFL was this season against Seattle: 8 rec, 72 yds. That shouldn’t be his career-high. It should be much higher.
WR is a dependent position. If a play is called where Harry is the primary option and Newton throws him the ball, he has to catch it, secure the ball and try to get more yards if possible.
Josh McDaniels, Patriots offensive coordinator, has to call more plays where Harry is the primary option. Newton has to get him the ball.
McDaniels needs to be more creative and less predictable. He should give Harry at least 2 rushing attempts per game. Also, line Harry up in the backfield, alongside Newton in the “shotgun” or “pistol” formation.
Sports television “producers” - the people who come up with show questions and topics - need to improve going into 2021 and beyond. Every show seems to ask the same questions, the same way. There are a lot of topics, that specifically have to do with games aired by the networks that employ the producers, that can be debated or discussed.
Lastly, the segments on Harry’s trainer are another ploy for sports “journalists” to cover themselves and their bad “takes” 🤦🏽♂️. This isn’t the article but some people in the sports media fawn over Cam Newton and his physical stature.
It seems most times Cam Newton is mentioned, there has to be some reference to his body dimensions 🤔. Newton has made some glaring missteps in the media, most notably not answering questions after the Super Bowl loss and making a demeaning and sexist comment to reporter in a press conference in Carolina. People have dismissed those qualities and his “insatiable appetite” for social media and decided to focus on his fashion and body dimensions. Sound more like sports “journalists” are talking about a hypebeast rather than an NFL QB that has played the QB position worse than Carson Wentz and Sam Darnold.
The sports media has also crowned Bill Belichick [😂😂😂😂😂] the “greatest coach of all time”. There will be another article, at a later date, about the “Genius Charlatan” ⏳. One thing though, didn’t he get his start in the NFL as a WR/TE coach?
Josh McDaniels isn’t a genius. He was an assistant coach for the best QB of the last 20 years. His time in Denver and drafting a non-thrower, Tim Tebow, in the 1st Round disqualifies him from any “genius” talk. He isn’t even innovative. In the Seattle game, Newton had scored twice on QB runs between the tackles, at the goal-line. The Patriots had a chance to win the game and McDaniels calls a QB run between the tackles for the third time. The Patriots lost. When the Patriots line-up in 2 WR sets, McDaniels almost always has a running play dialed up.
Tom Brady made Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels. Is the “Patriots Way” 6-7, where the starting QB has a 1:2 TD/INT ratio?
The team is almost the same on offense and defense. Tom Brady and the Patriots won 12 games. Newton, Belichick and McDaniels will be lucky to get to 7 wins this season.
The blame for this dismal, dithering season is on Newton, Belichick and McDaniels.