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Patriots quarterback Cam Newton throws the football during a game against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. (Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

The biggest problem with Cam Newton in 2020 was, well, how he threw the ball. Which was often poorly. Inconsistently, at best. It’s a pretty important part of playing quarterback, so Newton decided to work extra-hard in the 2021 off-season to correct those issues.

As described by Mike Reiss in his Sunday column for ESPN.com, Newton has been “working with a throwing coach to rebuild some of his fundamentals” during the off-season. That work has come alongside Newton’s on-field work with some of his new teammates, such as tight ends Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith and wide receiver Kendrick Bourne.

Reiss says that “some who shared a field with him” at voluntary workouts last week noticed a difference between Newton now and Newton during the 2020 season. It’s a promising development for a quarterback who will have a full off-season of workouts and preparation, after recovering from foot surgery and signing with the Patriots late in the off-season in 2020.

Newton’s work on his throwing mechanics is an indication that the Patriots still view him as capable of running their usual timing and rhythm-based passing attack. It seems that they’d rather restore whatever “fundamentals” may have eroded in recent years, and get Newton to more of a consistent throwing motion, than lean into him as more of a running quarterback or overhaul their offense to fit his strengths. It would certainly be ideal for the Patriots to run the same general system whether it’s Newton, Jarrett Stidham, Brian Hoyer, or rookie Mac Jones under center.

We’ll see if Newton’s work to improve his throwing mechanics pays off. Hard to believe that a 32-year-old can improve enough at this stage of his career. But it sounds like he’s off to a good start.

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Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at mdolloff@985thesportshub.com.