Tag:Cam Newton
Posted on: September 22, 2011 7:11 pm
Edited on: September 23, 2011 10:53 am

Ten Match-ups to watch in Week 3

Jaguars QB Blaine Gabbert vs. Panthers QB Cam Newton -- Yeah, they won't face each other. But this is a battle of two rookie passers taken in the top-10 of the draft last April. Newton is off to a fast start. Gabbert will be making his first start. It will be interesting to see how he responds. The other question is this: Can Newton keep it up?

Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald against Seahawks CB Brandon Browner -- Fitzgerald had one big play last week against DeAngelo Hall, but it was a 73-yard touchdown catch. Browner had a real tough go of it against the Steelers. If Fitzgerald can get man coverage against him -- even though he's a bigger corner at 6-4 -- he should light him up.

Ravens OLB Terrell Suggs vs. Rams T Rodger Saffold -- Suggs didn't do much last week against Titans left tackle Michael Roos. Saffold is one of the rising stars at left tackle. He did a nice job on Jason Pierre-Paul Monday night. This will be a real challenge and chance to earn some acclaim for Saffold.

Redskins CB DeAngelo Hall vs. Cowboys QB Tony Romo  -- Anytime a player talks about going after another player's injury, it has to make this list. Romo has a broken rib and Hall said he would do his best to get a shot on it if he could. He might want to worry more about covering Romo's receivers. Hall is off to a great start this season, but making the statement he did is risky business.

Giants defensive front against Eagles offensive line -- The last time the Giants played Mike Vick, they attacked him from all angles. That will put a lot of pressure on the Eagles re-shuffled line. Can rookie center Jason Kelce handle the line calls to help identify the blitzers?  Pierre-Paul vs. Jason Peters should be a fun battle.

Saints QB Drew Brees against Texans top-ranked pass defense -- The Texans haven't exactly played two good passing offenses, but they did finish last in 2010 and now they're first in pass defense. But Brees and his receivers will be a big challenge to that rating. It's hard to get pressure on Brees because he gets the ball out so quickly. That will put a lot of pressure on the cover people on the back end.

Steelers OLB James Harrison vs. Colts LT Anthony Castonzo -- Anytime a pass rusher like Harrison faces a rookie tackle, it makes for interesting talk. Harrison is one of the toughest players in the NFL, but Castonzo won't back down. He's a tough guy too.

Jets C Colin Baxter vs. Raiders DTs Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly -- Baxter, an undrafted rookie, will be making his first NFL start for the injured Nick Mangold. That's tough on the road against two good tackles. The Jets are a run-heavy team and if they are to have success doing that Baxter has to have a good game.

Bengals LT Andrew Whitworth vs. 49ers DE Justin Smith  -- This is a battle of two former teammates who are both relentless in their play. Smith has started to get his due, but it's time Whitworth get some as well. He did a nice job last week against the Broncos and he can get more juice if he plays well against Smith.

Bills WR Stevie Johnson vs. Patriots CB Devin McCourty -- Johnson has become a top-level receiver. McCourty is one of the best young corners. When they get matched up, it will be interesting to see who wins. Johnson is a smart receiver who knows how to run routes. He isn't a burner, but he plays fast. He is bothered some by a groin injury, but is expected to play McCourty excels in man coverage. Keep an eye on this one.

Category: NFL
Tags: Cam Newton
Posted on: January 13, 2011 9:29 pm
Edited on: January 13, 2011 9:38 pm

Verdict on Newton: Too early to tell

If you read this blog regularly, you know how I feel about quarterbacks and their importance.

In recent weeks, I've been asked often about Auburn's Cam Newton and whether I think he can be a quality NFL quarterback.

My answer: I'm intrigued.

Until I actually watch him on tape -- end zone and wide camera angles -- I will say that he has a lot of things to like, but it's too tough to evaluate him based on watching his games. Newton is declaring for the NFL Draft, so now the process will start for real.

I will say this: I think he's a better passer than both Vince Young and Tim Tebow were coming out of college. Some will say that's not hard to do, but both were first-round picks. Should Newton be a first-round pick? Time will tell.

He is big. He is strong. He has a really good arm. But can he read coverage? We have no idea based on what he did at Auburn. In that spread offense, he was rarely asked to sit in the pocket and make throws. I will say this, he made a great throw to the fullback on a wheel route in the National Championship Game Monday night against Oregon.

I don't like run-around quarterbacks. But I'm not sure that's what this kid will end up being.  When Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman came out of Kansas State, he was considered by some to be running quarterback. That's what he was asked to do in college, even though he didn't really like it. Who knew he was film junkie who could really read coverages. K-State didn't play to that strength.

I hear Newton loves the game and will put in the work -- something Young didn't do early in his career. If he does that, Newton has a chance. For now, the early evaluation process leaves me thinking that I need to see more.

I am intrigued.

Category: NFL
Tags: Cam Newton
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