We're just over two weeks away from the start of the 2019-20 NFL season. Yes, that's just over only two weeks away from real, live football.
But with real, live football comes real contact. And unlike past years, players don't have the benefit of the preseason to ease them into regular-season action. That makes matters especially tricky for quarterbacks, who wear red non-contact jerseys in camp to prevent injuries.
New York Giants head coach Joe Judge may have a different approach. Judge, formerly the New England Patriots' wide receivers coach, has considered removing QB Daniel Jones' non-contact jersey at some point during camp to get him used to the hits he'll be feeling come September.
On a brand new Patriots Talk Podcast, our Tom E. Curran wonders if Bill Belichick should do the same with Cam Newton.
"Does Cam Newton need to get hit? Do you ever think about that? 'Cause I do," Curran said. "And you know who else does? Joe Judge, New York Giants head coach. Daniel Jones may not have a red jersey at camp at some point because as Joe Judge says, 'we gotta have a little contact.'
"And he's not wrong. Can you go into the regular season with Cam Newton as your quarterback without being tackled to the ground one time during camp? I mean, that's what preseason's for. You're supposed to take a whack, you're supposed to get pushed, you're supposed to get knocked around. Yeah, you don't want friendly fire taking out the quarterback at the end of the August, not by any stretch of the imagination, but you don't want the friendly fire or the non-friendly fire taking out the quarterback because well, getting hit is different. Falling down is different."
"Brady used to go over here at TB12. He used to practice falling, rolling and making sure that he didn't land in a heap on his left shoulder. He had Alex Guerrero whacking him with those noodles from the pool to get him used to the contact and having to get out of the way of it. So I think Joe Judge is crazy like a fox, and I wouldn't be surprised if we saw Cam Newton, Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer, you know, get whacked."
Also discussed by Curran in the episode: Devin McCourty and Jason McCourty battle feelings of 'hopelessness' after Kenosha shooting, professional athletes around the sports world continue to speak about social injustice, and much more.