New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniel, right, will be able to throw new looks at opposing teams with Cam Newton, left, at quarterback as opposed to Tom Brady. Steven Senne/Associated Press

Bill Belichick loves having the element of mystery, when an opposing team doesn’t know what’s coming, or what to expect. And that applies both offensively and defensively.

With no preseason games, no joint practices, and opposing scouts not allowed into practices, it’s going to be even harder to get a handle on the 2020 Patriots, particularly on offense.

That being said, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels should enjoy a bit of an advantage, especially Week 1 against Miami.

With no tape of a Cam Newton-run offense, and nothing to study, save for the type of plays Newton ran in Carolina, the Dolphins initially won’t have a clue how to defend any of what McDaniels throws at them.

“There’s going to be some interesting moments I’m sure on Sunday,” McDaniels said during a video conference call Tuesday before adding later: “I think both teams, especially this year across the league, both teams are going to have the opportunity to unveil something we haven’t seen from the other team.”

McDaniels thought the advantage went both ways, with the Dolphins also enjoying a bit of a surprise element, especially with new offensive coordinator Chan Gailey. With the rules imposed by the pandemic, everyone’s in the same boat.

The Patriots, however, still gain a different type of edge. They now employ a quarterback whose talents and skill set are much different from what Tom Brady boasted during his 20 seasons in New England. Brady was a classic pocket passer who rarely ventured off his spot.

While there’s still bound to be plays from the pocket, with a lot of play action, as there was with Brady, the mobility component of Newton will provide a change-up, of sorts.

McDaniels wouldn’t tip his hand, but said it’s a matter of doing what the players do best, and are most comfortable with. For Newton, one might assume that’s having some zone option reads, as well as scripted running plays. Those fall into the wheelhouse of his strengths.

“Opening day is so critical in terms of being able to put players in position to do something they know how to do,” said McDaniels. “I’m going through it with an open mind, allowing the players to have opportunities to do a lot of different things, then evaluate what we’re seeing as well as talk with them, and communicate constantly about how they feel about it.

“You never want to put a player in position to do things they don’t feel comfortable with. But it’s been a great process.”

One which should prove difficult for the Dolphins to initially decipher.

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