In case you needed any further proof that lacrosse truly IS the sport of the future, behold that, for the second consecutive Opening Day, the Premiere Lacrosse League invited the game's greatest ambassador on to discuss the proceedings. And rather than have their special guest unleash the worst ceremonial first pitch of all time like some sports I could mention, PLL let Bill Belichick do his thing. Speak with knowledge, share his insights, be candid and charming as always.
But there was one particular answer he gave that was especially noteworthy:
Q: I asked you last year by asking what position in lacrosse would Tom Brady play and you said, "Goalie." What do you think Cam Newton would play out here?
BB: Yeah, I think Cam Newton looks like Myles Jones to me. He’s fast, he’s big. He’d be a tough guy to match up against. He could run by them. He could run through those stick checks and he’d have a tough, with the stick work, a tough overhand shot. So I think those tall, long guys really have a big advantage of being able to change the angle of their shots and still be able to run through some guys.
Who is Myles Jones, you ask? At least I asked, since I honestly didn't know. He's this guy:
He would be the 6-foot-5, 260 pound midfielder who sends defenders' helmets flying while he trucks them to the ground and scores seemingly at will. Who makes the expression "like a man among boys" not do his play justice. Who compares better to Andre the Giant when he used to wrestle by himsellf against three man tag teams and still win. That's how Belichick sees his newest acquisition.
I'm going to try not to put too fine a point on a comment Belichick made in a fun, grabassy interview about his second most beloved sport. But it's hard not to read into it that he's excited about what he's got to work with. That his quarterback room just shed 12 years in age and went up exponentially in terms of sheer physical presence and athletic prowess. That he went from - in lacrossically speaking - a goalie to a Myles Jones. With all the possibilities that entails in terms of opening up the offense and designing schemes that were never possible for his offense until now.
I say this acknowledging that the goalie-level athlete we are talking about led his team to the Super Bowl in nine of his 18 seasons as a starter, which for all I know is a better success rate than Myles Jones' shooting percentage. Still, I can't hear that tone in Belichick's voice and that comparison without thinking that he's as fascinated to see what he can do in terms of taking advantage of Newton's abilities as I am. Let's blow the whistle and get camp going five minutes ago.