While Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is obviously concerned about Cam Newton’s health, and having him make it through the season, he doesn’t sound overly concerned that the number of rushing attempts for his quarterback will wind up being a detriment.
He pointed out that while Newton had 15 carries against the Dolphins, it could have easily been half that number given the option nature of the runs.
Going forward, McDaniels thought just the game-plan approach of their offense every week, tailored to each opponent, would likely help change that narrative.
But he was still cognizant of being careful with his starting quarterback.
“The goal is not to put anybody in harm’s way. We have a player at that position that can certainly help us,” said McDaniels. “But obviously, we have to be smart about what we’re doing, and make sure we don’t put him in a situation that could hurt our team, or himself.”
The offensive game plan to beat the Dolphins likely won’t be the same against the Seahawks, who have a better defense, and pose different challenges. In that way, McDaniels maintains the element of mystery to a degree, but also might not be so inclined to have Newton run as much with designed plays.
“Really what it is, it’s more a function of what we feel like is best to do against a specific opponent we’re playing. I know we did some things we really haven’t done much of around here for a long time, or maybe ever,” said McDaniels. “But that’s just a function of using the players you have to the best of your ability against the scheme and the opponent you’re playing.
“I would say, we’re going to be in the same boat we always are, which is, we try to adjust appropriately, change from week to week based on what we think gives us the best chance to have success.”
McDaniels also pointed out it’s not the best or most creative idea to run the exact offense with the same look and same plays every week.
“I don’t know that any one thing, if you do it over and over and over, is sustainable in our league,” he said. “The coaches and the players each week are too good. I’ve called 60 passes. Believe me, I don’t want to live in that world too long, or you’re going to get in trouble, whether it’s injuries, or the success you have is going to deteriorate, or too much of this or that, depending on what it is, and you’re going to become too predictable.”