Thursday, April 21, 2011

Cam Debate: The supposed experts remain divided

Maybe Cam Newton will be the Panthers' top pick, but he remains in the middle of a raging NFL debate on whether he's a star in the making or a bum.

The Milwaukee Journal surveyed 24 league executives, mostly GMs or scouting directors, and well ... they just don't know what to make of Auburn's Heisman Trophy winner.

Talented? Hugely so.

Baggage? Oversized.

Propects? All over the map.

There are those in the survey who think he'll be a star. There are those who think he's kryptonite. And there are those who believe he'll fall somewhere in between.

One point of common ground: Everyone interviewed has a highly emotional opinion of Newton, which tracks right along with his college experience as his sport's biggest and most magnetic lightning rod. (Be sure to check out the comments of the scout at the bottom of the Journal's story, who believes Newton is being held to a different standards.)

Punch here for more.



J said...

Very interesting reading, and a very interesting Peyton Manning comparison.

And to that particular guy's question of, if the Colts could be patient with Manning, why can't we be patient with Cam? The blame for that lies on the shoulders of Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco and Sam Bradford. These guys completely changed the fortunes of their team in only 1 year. Sensible people realize that these are exceptions, not the rule. Too bad the average fan simply says, "Their guy did it, so, by definition, our guy must turn it around in 1 year or he's a complete bust." We see this in our own town. Alan Major gets hired to take over a Charlotte 49ers team that had faded badly in the last year of the previous coach, and the cupboard was bare when Major arrived. Then, 1 month in, he's down to 9 players due to suspensions and injuries. Trek on over the The Gold Mine blog and every post is infested with "Alan Major is worthless and needs to be fired yesterday" comments. The average (read: dumb) fan simply thinks a new coach or player should simply walk on to the playing surface and immediately produce a 180-degree turnaround. In most cases, it simply isn't realistic.

I think Cam is going to be a star - in 2014. It's going to take him 3 years to fully transform to NFL-style football. Once he does, he will be unstoppable. So I hope he does fall down the board to a team that doesn't need him yesterday. Why not the Panthers? Because the Panthers have the worst offensive line ever assembled in the history of the sport of football, on any level. How can you say Jimmy CLausen is a bust when every time he took a snap and took 1 step back, there were already 4 defenders on top of him? Of course he's going to get sacked or immediately forced into his checkdown? Tom Brady couldn't have managed anything more than a 75 QB rating with this putrid line. But the Observer sports department gives the O-line a free pass, never once calling them out on their historically-bad play. Nah, let's just agree with the dumb masses and blame everything but the Japanese earthquake on Clausen and clamor for a QB right now.

As an unapologetic Auburn shill, I hope Cam becomes all-world. But if he comes here in 2011, he's going to get the crap beat out of him so bad he would lose all of his extremely full barrel of confidence. I don't want to see that happen to him.