Per all the stats and the pundits the Panthers should beat the Vikings pretty handily today. It's that exact sentiment that worries the crap out of me. We've got to have our defense stand up...kind of like the way the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets stood up and put the smack down on Clemson last night. (That's actually what I would prefer to be writing about right now) He he he... But I digress
I'm really enjoying listening the critics like Merrill Hoge eat their words about Cam Newton. I'm not saying I was proclaiming his stardom before the season started. Heck even after the preseason the best I could say about him was he had not thrown an INT. But once they started to count the kid came to play. Even the most sceptical of his critics now agree the kid can play and that all of his perceived weaknesses didn't stop him. Here's Cam himself addressing that:
There were a couple of them, but we'd be here all day if I was to sit up here" going through them, Newton said last week. "I'd have a scroll. Authors and sports analysts. But I don't have anything against anybody. That's their job. That's what they do."
They obviously don't do it very well given how bad they missed on this guy. I think the weather man does a better job of being right.
"When we got him after he had gone through the offseason and saw what happened with all the work he'd done with Chris Weinke down at IMG and showed up here ready to go, it was impressive," Panthers coach Ron Rivera said.
"In the preseason he was really off. He was all over the place," said ESPN's Merril Hoge, who was among those who weren't sure Newton would succeed. "But week after week, he's gotten better and better and better."
Moving on the criticism that Newton will look to run first when pressured, Rivera says that just wasn't the case at Auburn:
"There was such a huge misnomer that he's a scramble quarterback that runs. No, he wasn't," Rivera said. "He did not scramble to run. He scrambled to stay alive in the pocket."
That's been the most impressive thing about Newton to me. The kid can and will stand in the pocket and deliver it.
Now to my favorite criticism...he's not a leader:
There were a lot of stories that you heard that when you went and checked them out, you came away feeling very good about Cam Newton as a person," general manager Marty Hurney said on draft night.
You never heard any of his team mates speak about him like that. Of course Nawrocki's of the world aren't going to admit they were wrong just yet. Listen to this crap:
"I still think those other issues need to be determined," Nawrocki said. "Vince Young went to the Pro Bowl his first year. He went there in his fourth. He was off the team in his fifth. Sometimes you're not going to have an answer for five years. We'll see how it plays out. He's more talented than Vince. He's more in that Ben Roethlisberger category."
He's more talented than Vince Young? Are you sure? I can't believe people still listen to this guy. Well I'm very glad he was wrong...but I doubt he will ever admit it. The Vikings will find out first hand today.