Bedard: 2018 Cam Newton was a roller coaster, showed all-around promise for Patriots

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The last time new Patriots quarterback Cam Newton was really on an NFL field, it was the 2018 Panthers' season.

A lot went on that season.

Dave Tepper was in his first year as owner. Norv Turner, as old-school and traditional as you can be, was brought in as offensive coordinator. Newton was back from shoulder surgery. TE Greg Olsen was back from foot surgery. DJ Moore was a rookie receiver. Carolina brought in Eric Reid from purgatory after the kneeling controversy.

And then there was what happened on the field.

The Panthers came out of the gates like Super Bowl contenders with a 6-2 start — with Newton playing the best football of his career. And then they completely fell on their collective faces with a seven-game losing streak that led to a 7-9 record.

What happened? What was Newton's part in it? What could affect his Patriots tenure?

Luckily, NFL Films documented the 2018 Panthers' season and produced an All Or Nothing season for Amazon Prime Video. Now, of course, this is produced by the NFL. This is not an unvarnished documentary so it's not even close to a fair and balanced look at Newton's final real season with the Panthers.

But, there was still a lot of information to glean from when it comes to who Newton is now in his career, and it was mostly good news for the Patriots. I came away more impressed with this mature version of Newton than some of his admittedly immature earlier pro seasons.


1. Newton was playing really good football the first eight weeks, and his coaches were excited about where he was going.