Patriots

Patriots Talk Podcast: Chris Simms on why Cam Newton and Patriots will be 'a very good marriage'

Patriots Talk Podcast: Chris Simms on why Cam Newton and Patriots will be 'a very good marriage'

The New England Patriots blindsided the football world on Sunday night by agreeing to a one-year contract with ex-Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.

Since Tom Brady left in free agency to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it was assumed that it was second-year QB Jarrett Stidham's turn to step up and assume the role of Brady's successor. Now, unless Newton suffers some kind of setback or simply isn't the same guy in camp, it's hard to picture the former NFL MVP not suiting up as the starter when the season kicks off.

So should Patriots fans be excited about their newest addition? To NBC Sports' Chris Simms, the answer to that question is an emphatic "yes."

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis

Simms joined Phil Perry on a brand new episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast to discuss the Newton signing, and it's clear he believes the 31-year-old will fit right in with the Patriots offense.

Listen and subscribe to Tom E. Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast:

Simms even went as far as to say the Pats offense is better suited for Newton than it is for Brady.

"I think it's going to be a very good marriage," Simms said of Newton and the Patriots. "I honestly think the Patriots are built better right now to play Cam Newton's style of football than they are the Tom Brady style of football. I say that because all the running backs, some of the receivers you have and the versatility they have with Marqise Lee, Julian Edelman, Mohamed Sanu, N'Keal Harry. All these guys could run wide receiver reverses, wide receiver passes, fake it to the wide receiver on the reverse and then he continues on the route.

"So they're very interchangeable along with the running backs that are interchangeable. And we know the offensive line had a down year last year, but I think it's better than how it played last year and David Andrews being back, to where I'd go 'they might be able to play this Cam Newton defensive game, Cam Newton run the ball, play-action pass. I think it actually suits their roster quite well."

Regardless of whether Simms is right about Newton being a better fit, we can count on the Patriots offense looking much different than what we've seen over the last couple of decades with Brady at the helm.

Also discussed in the episode are whether Simms believes Newton has a lot of good football years left in him, whether Stidham can beat out Newton for the starting job, and much more. Darin Gantt of ProFootballTalk also joins the show to talk about all things Newton.

Check out Simms' full conversation with Perry in the latest episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast on the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network or on YouTube.

Patriots Talk Podcast: Training camp position battles to watch

Patriots Talk Podcast: Training camp position battles to watch

Finally, the New England Patriots are back on the field at Gillette Stadium.

The new-look Pats had their first practice of 2020 on Wednesday, which means training camp position battles are officially underway. The obvious position battle in camp will be at the quarterback position between Cam Newton and Jarrett Stidham, but there are many more intriguing battles to keep an eye on.

In a brand new Patriots Talk Podcast, Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry break down the positions where these battles will take place.

Patriots Talk Podcast - Training Camp Preview: Burning Questions. Bold Predictions | Listen & subscribe | Watch on YouTube

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis

Perry named the Patriots' three most notable position battles, starting with the QB position. While it's technically a battle between Newton and Stidham, some believe it's a foregone conclusion Newton will be the Week 1 starter.

"You have the quarterback spot with Cam vs. Stidham. Let's move past that, we've talked enough about that, we both think Cam is going to win the job. Not a real battle, per se," Perry said.

"Let's go back to the outside linebackers. This is a four-way cage match between Chase Winovich, Anfernee Jennings, Shilique Calhoun, and Brandon Copeland. My guy is going to be Anfernee Jennings, but I do think that's a battle. Whatever that opposite John Simon edge spot is called, somebody's got to fill it.

"Number three, let's talk special teams ... who is your returner? Is it Kyle Dugger, your first draft pick in this year's draft? Is it J.J. Taylor? Fun as hell to watch, would be fun as hell to watch in the kicking game. Or is it last year's guy, Gunner [Olszewski]? They don't want to give it to Julian Edelman, we know that, so one of those three guys I think will win it."

For Curran, it's a newly-added safety who will have his attention in camp.

"I'm going to head over to the secondary for the position battle that I'm interested to watch," Curran said. "I have a good feeling of who's going to shine there and it's my defensive dark horse for this camp and this season -- it's going to be Adrian Phillips at the safety spot holding off a young Kyle Dugger.

"I think Adrian Phillips is going to be an absolute eye-opener at the safety position ... Adrian Phillips is a talented player, he's closer to [Patrick] Chung than he is Devin McCourty. He's going to be a really good player for the Patriots this year. But I'm going to be real interested to see how Dugger competes ... he's an athletic unicorn."

Curran and Perry also discuss the burning questions surrounding the Patriots, why the Pats should explore using the triple option, bold predictions for the 2020 season, and much more.

Check out the latest episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast on the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network or on YouTube.

Patriots' 2020 draft pick Dustin Woodard retires before rookie season

Patriots' 2020 draft pick Dustin Woodard retires before rookie season

One of the New England Patriots' 2020 draft picks has decided to retire before his rookie season began.

The team announced Thursday it has placed offensive lineman Dustin Woodard on the reserve/retired list.

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis

Woodard, who played college football at the University of Memphis, was selected by the Patriots in the seventh round (230th overall) of April's draft. The 22-year-old center/guard was one of three offensive linemen taken by the Patriots in the 2020 draft, along with guard Michael Onwenu (sixth round) and tackle Justin Herron (sixth round).

Why is Woodard retiring? ESPN's Mike Reiss reported additional details:

The Patriots signed center Tyler Gauthier on Wednesday in a move that adds some depth to the position following Woodard's retirement. Woodard had a chance to make the roster as the backup center behind starter David Andrews.