Football Team

Ron Rivera was thrilled to see Cam Newton 'having fun' again

Football Team

Around the same time Ron Rivera earned his first victory with his new team, the Washington head coach's former quarterback was also leading his new squad to its first victory of the season.

Cam Newton, who spent nine years under Rivera in Carolina, shined in the New England Patriots' Week 1 victory over the Miami Dolphins. 

In between watching film of Washington's victory and beginning to prepare for the tough matchup of Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals in Week 2, Rivera took some time to watch Newton's highlights in his New England debut. He was thrilled with what he saw.

"It's only going to get better," Rivera said of Newton on The Dan Patrick show on Tuesday. "Really, just watching him and how he played, he was having fun. That's probably the biggest thing that he hasn't had in the past two years because of the injuries."

In his Patriots debut, Newton finished 15-of-19 passing for 155 yards, and rushed for 75 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries.

Rivera thinks Newton will continue to thrive in New England, partly due to the fact he's playing under a future Hall of Fame coach in Bill Belichick.

"He ended up in a good place," Rivera said. "That's one of the places, people would ask me 'Where do you think he will end up?' I said, 'I wouldn't be surprised if he ended up in New England.' He said it the other day, find out what your guys do best, and you do it. That's what he did with Tom Brady all those years, and that's what he's going to do with Cam, what Cam does best."


The idea of a Rivera-Newton reunion in Washington crossed the head coach's mind over the offseason, but the development of Dwayne Haskins left Rivera with no need.

Haskins' numbers in Washington's Week 1 victory didn't necessarily stand out, but Rivera was pleased with the quarterback's day overall.

"Dwayne did the things that we needed him to do to give us a chance to win," Rivera told JP Finlay in a one-on-one interview on Monday.