Another day, another video of Cam Newton working his physically superhuman ass off. Whether it's pushing the limits of his endurance at the gym, throwing spirals to Mohamed Sanu or his nose being buried into his playbook up to the Olfactory Tract. Everything he puts out is a shot of dopamine for a fanbase that was supposed to be having our worst summer in two decades.
Now we see him working out with N'Keal Harry, the receiver they invested the most draft capital in since this Dynasty began. If there could be better news than that in the middle of July, I for the life of me can't fathom what it would be. Here are two guys with everything to prove. A former No. 1 pick who was unemployed until late June, a washed up hasbeen at the age of 31 like he's JaMarcus Russell or somebody, fighting for his redemption. And a first rounder who had an injury-riddled first season and is desperate to hold off the critics who want to write "BUST" across his forehead with a Sharpie.
And there's no question Harry's failed rookie season was about more than just his injury.
According to Pro Football Focus' metrics, among all wideouts, Harry's overall grade was 88th best. As a receiver, he was 107th. His drop rate was 169th. In his eight games, he was targeted four times or fewer six times, and two or fewer three times. In the final regular season game and the Wild Card playoff, his quarterback finally began trying to feed him the ball. The result was 15 targets and just five receptions for 50 yards. And two losses. A street free agent on a one-week contract could've done as well. And if he's going to keep that aforementioned "BUST" off his face like a mustache and glasses drawn on a passed out frat boy, he's got to work harder than everybody else. That's the price of the pressure of being a first round pick. And it looks like he's meeting it head on.
Two guys on very different career trajectory, but with the common goal of shutting up the the doubters and proving their worth. And they know the only way to make it happen is to work for it. Pay the price. Do the reps. Develop that QB/WR chemistry for which there is no formula, it just grows one practice route at a time. As Ben Hogan put it, "The solution is in the dirt."
Maybe Harry would've benefited from having his former quarterback at OTAs. He definitely could've used spring practices this year, but the universe had different plans. So seeing these two hyper-motivated athletes working now to be on the same page in September is the best thing New England could've seen today.