What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
So if you haven’t heard, JaMarcus II held a private workout in San Diego for select members of the media. It was really a sham; he danced around some agility exercises and threw a few balls, a show that didn’t show anything really useful other than athleticism, but it was enough to make ESPN football analyst and former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer fall in love with Cam Newton.
“He’s gonna skyrocket up the boards,” Dilfer said, “because as guys are just now diving into his game film – which I did all week long – you begin to get a feel for how talented this player is, and what a good quarterback he is.”
Dilfer was impressed with the progress Newton has made technically under quarterback coach George Whitfield.
“George Whitfield, his quarterback coach, has done a masterful job coaching him from the feet up,” Dilfer said. “He showed great balance, he showed great foot energy as he did drop back and take snaps from under center.”
The former Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl champion signal-caller was also impressed with the difficulty of the workout Newton did in front of the cameras.
“This is a guy that in his workout threw about 30 very challenging throws, and in each one of those throws he kept his eyes down the center of the football field, spun his eyes back to the perimeter, and delivered the ball early with anticipation,” said Dilfer. “This is a gifted, gifted passer – something I don’t think many people know.
“These were throws down the football field into a pretty stiff wind… I mean, this wind is probably blowing probably 10, 15 miles an hour, in his face. He knifed the ball through the wind. He controlled it very well; the ball spins very nice off of his hand. And because of that, I thought it was a more challenging workout than many of these other guys will have.”
Now, I may not have a Super Bowl ring, but I do have two eyes; two eyes that were more concerned about what they didn’t see. I didn’t see anything that suggests Newton is ready to play in a “pro” set, I didn’t see anything that suggests Newton has any idea how to read a pro defense, and I didn’t see anything that speaks to Newton doing anything about his “character” issues.
Newton has been in San Diego since late January, working six days a week with quarterbacks coach George Whitfield Jr. and receiving advice from Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon. By his own admission, he’s got a long way to go to be ready as an NFL quarterback, he said he’s working on “the whole grand scheme of playing quarterback in the NFL. ”
“A lot of times I probably can count on one hand the times I took a snap from under center in one game. But now it depends what scheme you go into, but at the same time you have to be able to get a snap from under center and be fluent at it. That’s one of the first things we tried to tackle.”
“Asked if he was surprised some people don’t think his skills won’t translate to the NFL, he replied: “That’s the competitor that I am. I won’t be surprised — I’m making that leap right now — until I’m a Super Bowl champion. That’s what I’m going for from day one, reaching for greatness. The supporting cast that I have is pushing me to be great, I’m pushing myself to be great and I demand greatness for myself. So coming in the door, working out every single day, I’m shooting for greatness.”
Let’s be honest…Newton may have athleticism, but it takes much more than that to be an effective NFL quarterback. Remember last year at this time when it was Tim Tebow putting on the private displays in an attempt to raise his draft stock. It worked for him, and it may work for Newton. But any team that drafts Newton high is making a mistakes. Why? The aformentioned character issues, which the lack of was one of the reason Tebow pulled this off.
Newton doesn’t have that luxury. I’m not a big believer in coincidences; Newton is one of those guys who always has controversy following him wherever he goes, and he always has a story for it. It that seemingly questionable character which has me convinced Newton is just a reprise of JaMarcus Russell. In fact, the connection is so clear, the calculus can be demonstrated in a pictoral fashion.
So, good luck to you, which ever NFL team is preparing to make the Cam Newton mistake. You’re going to need it.