Cam Newton Goes To Bat Defending N’Keal Harry: ‘It Was Simply One Mistake’

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By Michael Hurley, CBS dangolka

dangolka (CBS) — For the foreseeable future, all the pieces Cam Newton does in New England will probably be in comparison with his predecessor. Such is barely pure when somebody of Tom Brady’s stature occupies a job for twenty years.

And whereas Brady could certainly be the best of all time in quite a few classes, one space through which he was decidedly not the perfect was in growing rapports with younger, inexperienced receivers. The story on Brady was that he demanded perfection, and that as quickly as a younger receiver tousled, Brady would eradicate that participant from the belief tree.

Was it 100 % correct? No. Was the knock completely honest? Not all the time. (It’s not as if Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson went on to flourish elsewhere, you realize?) However, the narrative existed.

By one week of soccer, it will seem as if Cam Newton received’t carry that very same tag. The brand new Patriots quarterback spoke to the media on Wednesday in what has develop into a sometimes considerate, in-depth, and wide-ranging weekly dialog. At one level, he was requested about N’Keal Harry’s goal-line fumble, a mistake which price the Patriots a landing. (It additionally stored Newton’s passing landing quantity at zero.)

An animated Newton instantly went to bat for the second-year receiver, in search of to protect Harry from any and all criticism for his total efficiency within the season opener.

“I spoke with NKeal and let’s simply put a number of issues into perspective right here. All proper — did he have a superb sport? Sure he did,” Newton stated. “I feel that one play overshadowed the manufacturing that he did have. He bailed me out on a play, on a form of inaccurate go that he got here down with and received the primary down. He did fairly good within the run sport. He had a few contested catches, and all of that was form of for naught as a result of lots of people simply targeted on the fumble. And granted, I’ll be the primary individual to let you know, he is aware of — or he can be the primary individual to let you know — that he is aware of that’s unacceptable. However clearly once you put issues into perspective and name an apple an apple and a spade a spade, it was only one mistake.”

The bailout play which Newton referenced got here when the quarterback acknowledged a Miami blitz, gave a sign to Harry, after which rapidly fired a go to the big-bodied receiver on a slant within the third quarter. Harry reached again and hauled within the go, which was behind him, earlier than dragging two defenders to the road to realize.

N’Keal Harry catch (GIF from NFL.com/GamePass)

That reception got here within the midst of what was most likely the perfect drive of Harry’s younger profession. Alas, that drive ended with Harry attempting to do some bit an excessive amount of when he was stripped of the ball whereas reaching for the objective line, resulting in a fumble into the top zone for a turnover and a touchback.

“Him nonetheless being a younger participant attempting to return into his personal, issues like that may occur,” Newton stated. “You simply need them to be minimized as a lot as attainable. However he’s making leaps and strides as everybody would count on him to be. He’s rising up into his finest self and for him, after chatting with him, he is aware of. He is aware of he has to make follow game-like and that’s the one factor possible.”

Whereas Newton is probably going not in tune with a few of the minute criticisms that native media and a few followers have made on Brady through the years, his ultimate touch upon Harry nonetheless stood out in stark distinction to Brady’s historical past with growing younger receivers.

“The factor that makes me and NKeal even nearer is I informed him my spiel, clearly being in Carolina, however I’ve had a NKeal in my life for so long as my profession has existed,” Newton defined. “Being a high-invested draft choose relationship again to Kelvin Benjamin to Devin Funchess, these younger guys. Me additionally being younger on the time too, you then put money into Curtis Samuel, D.J. Moore, Christian McCaffrey, so it’s nothing new to return on a group and you’ve got a younger expertise at receiver and attempting to morph him into the perfect participant that he can presumably be. And I do know NKeal is shopping for in, not solely to my concept and strategies but additionally to the group’s as nicely. And performs like which are going to occur, and we simply hope that that’s the one time it’ll occur.”

Newton’s perspective actually stands out. Harry did make a career-high 5 catches for a career-high 39 yards. These will not be spectacular numbers total, however regardless of the fumble, Newton noticed it as an vital step ahead to a participant who needs to be vital to the offense.

You’ll be able to e mail Michael Hurley or discover him on Twitter @michaelFhurley.

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