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Why Can't Cam Newton Slide?

Most QBs make it look pretty easy. I found sliding to be fun and easy when playing baseball as a kid. So why can't Cam Newton slide instead of lunge forward like he has been doing since his early college days?

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

It would reduce the stress on the coaching staff and the fanbase if he would learn to slide that is for sure:

Cam Newton needs to learn how to slide - NFL Nation Blog - ESPN
"A lot of concerns," Rivera said. "Every time he runs there are concerns. ... He's competitive by nature. Competitive people, who are truly competitive, always try to do the hard thing. Cam will never try to do the easy thing, and that's to slide that way." This wasn't Rivera on Sunday. This was Rivera after a Thursday night game against Tampa Bay last season when Newton dove awkwardly forward several times for extra yards. "We've tried everything with him," Rivera said after that game. "He knows that if he slides the ball reverts to where he first touches the ground, but if he goes forward it's [progress] until he stops. Again, it's his competitive nature."

As his recent back injury indicates, the injury risk isn't worth the extra yard or two lunging brings us. If it means he doesn't make a 1st down then so be it (unless we are talking playoffs of course). Better to stay in the game than take a shot to the back from a defender that lunging tends to allow. Newton does have an explanation for this surprising inability by a guy who we are used to doing anything and everything:

"I'm not a sliding type of guy," Newton said last Thursday when asked if he needs to slide more, at the time addressing whether to protect his surgically repaired left ankle. "I get down the best way I know how. I really wasn't good at baseball."

I guess most of us did learn to slide while playing baseball. I do know that traditional sliding can also lead to injury if you jam your foot or knee into the ground so there is that. Plus Newton is a tall fellow which makes it a little bit harder to get down fast. A player can protect themselves a little better with their pads by lunging if a collision is imminent.

In the end though the coaches want him to slide but he has yet to bring himself to it when in game mode. Maybe someone needs to get to start with the basics. Buy a 'Slip-n-Slide and start there! Everybody loves Slip-n-Side and it would be a good training program right! Hmmm...me thinks taking a Slip-n-Slide to training camp next year, they have the perfect hill for it! Imagine Cam joining in with the fans while he practices sliding. Hey it could happen!