Tag:Cam Newton
Posted on: February 28, 2011 12:15 pm

Casey Matthews out for rest of NFL combine

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Oregon LB Casey Matthews, the younger brother of Packers standout LB Clay Matthews, will miss the rest of the NFL combine after injuring his shoulder during Saturday’s bench press, according to NFL.com’s Steve Wyche.

Though he’s not the athletic specimen his brother is, CBSSports.com ranks him as the seventh-best inside LB in the draft (and No. 162 overall).

Matthews obviously has good name recognition, but he really made a case for himself during the 2011 BCS championship game when he impacted QB Cam Newton’s ability to make plays and stripped him of the ball late in the game.

One potential knock on Matthews is that he played in a defensive system at Oregon in which he blitzed a ton, probably inflating his sack numbers. Not that a wonderful NFL combine would have dashed that negative, but still, it has to be disappointing for a LB who could be selected on the second day of the Draft.

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Posted on: February 28, 2011 12:04 am

Newton 'frustrated' by throwing performance

Posted by Will Brinson

Cam Newton was the unquestioned star of the weekend combine action. Even though his on-field performance left many a question to be answered, he drew the biggest media crowds, did well at his press conference and proved what a ridiculous athlete he is.

Naturally, then, people were curious as to what he thought about his throwing session. The answer: "frustrated."

"I underestimated the timing aspect of playing quarterback," Newton said on set with the NFL Network crew. "You had receivers from the SEC, the SWAC, the MAC. I was somewhat frustrated, but at the same time, I was having fun out there."

The weird thing about the combine, as Mike Mayock pointed out, is that quarterbacks aren't being judged on whether or not they complete passes (which is what they're used to doing) but whether or not they can throw a pass to a particular spot (which is what they're not necessarily trained to do).

Therefore, while Newton clearly struggled passing the ball in a manner he's not entirely used to, it's still likely his draft stock won't slip that far.

Even some of the biggest misses won't sink his chances of being a top-five pick, because for all the criticism he'll take for needing development, there's equal praise about his ability to utilize his athletic prowess to overcome any problems.

So it's understandable to frustrated, but he probably shouldn't be too worried.

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Posted on: February 27, 2011 3:35 pm

Ponder out-shines Newton in 2nd QB session

Posted by Rob Rang

Cam Newton entered the second throwing session of the Combine with all of the hype, but it was Florida State's Christian Ponder who stole the show.

Ponder showed surprising zip and very good accuracy throughout the throwing session, especially in the short to intermediate levels. His deep outs and post-corner routes were especially impressive.

Newton has all of the physical tools scouts are looking for, but showed that he is still in the early developmental stages in dropping back, transferring his weight and throwing passes accurately. This led to some of his throws -- especially timing routes like deep outs -- to sail on him.

This entry was cross-posted from Rob Rang's NFL Draft Blog. For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: February 27, 2011 1:41 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2011 6:47 pm

Taylor, Locker are fastest QBs at combine

Posted by Eye on Football Staff

INDIANAPOLIS -- As expected, the two fastest quarterbacks at the NFL combine were Tyrod Taylor and Jake Locker.

Taylor led all quarterbacks with a 4.45 and Locker posted the second-best time with a 4.52.

Colin Kaepernick (4.53), Josh Portis (4.56) and Cam Newton (4.58) rounded out the top five. Blaine Gabbert, top-rated "traditional" quarterback, clocked in at 4.61.

Those times are unofficial as of right now -- NFL.com's Frank Tadych points out that if Taylor's time holds up, it would be the second-fastest at the combine since 2000 and Locker's would be the fourth fastest.

Considering how far Locker's stock fell over the past year, it's pretty impressive to see how quickly he's rebounding once getting in front of NFL execs.

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Posted on: February 26, 2011 11:46 pm

Combine scene: Saturday

Posted by Andy Benoit

INDIANAPOLIS -- The show was stolen Saturday by Cam Newton (stolen is probably the wrong word – the media was more than happy to give it to him). The Heisman Trophy winning quarterback was extremely well coached and well prepared – and he benefitted greatly from following Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett at Podium C (Mallett’s press conference was essentially a train wreck).

Newton’s stock will likely rise after this weekend, though talking to people in the know, there are concerns about his accuracy. He has a rifle of an arm, at least. But the belief is that Newton’s running game will not translate to the NFL the way many expect. Thus, his precision passing becomes all the more important.

Earlier in the afternoon, I had an opportunity to meet with a highly respected front office exec. One of the most interesting things that came out of the conversation was his assertion that the tight end position is facing extinction. He named another big-time exec who believes tight ends will soon go the way of the fullback. This isn’t necessarily shocking; many can look at the game and figure that the No. 3 receiver will soon become a cog in every starting lineup. But don’t be surprised if this change occurs quicker than expected.

Friday night I joined the Football Outsiders crew at Scotty’s Brewhouse near Conseco Fieldhouse. Peter King (one of the greatest people in the industry, by the way) was holding court with a room packed full of hardcore football fans. George Atallah, NFLPA spokesman and Domonique Foxworth, the Ravens’ player rep, were both there. The media has been saying for months that fans don’t care about the details and legalese of the labor strife– they just want to know when football will be played. But if last night is any indication, this is simply not true. Fans care very much about the labor strife. The evening at Scotty’s lasted two and a half hours. The first hour of the Q and A was solely about the labor situation. And all of the Q’s were coming from fans.

Albert Breer of NFL Network was on hand. Interestingly enough, just about everything he told the room seemed to be favorable to the players. Foxworth was openly surprised (and appreciative) by Breer’s candor. It put a mild damper on the whole evening hearing about how a lockout is inevitable (this was prior to the union decertification rumblings , of course). But that’s fitting, given that labor talk has dominated the discussion all week here.

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Posted on: February 26, 2011 6:48 pm

Newton wins the press conference

C. Newton had a strong performance in front of the media today (Getty). Posted by Eye on Football staff

INDIANAPOLIS -- Say this for former Auburn QB – and potential No. 1 pick in April’s NFL Draft – Cam Newton: he’s got a perfect sense of timing.

Immediately after what many described as a disastrous news conference featuring Arkansas’ Ryan Mallett, Newton talked to a mass of media and, for the most part, came off quite well. Yes, he referred to himself in the third person multiple times, and yes, he read from a prepared statement at the beginning of his presser – some reporters found that a bit strange – but otherwise, he showed his charisma and parried questions regarding alleged off-field incidents with more grace than Mallett.

"My biggest thing is everybody has a learning process that they go through,” Newton said. “For me, that learning process happened three years ago, the mistakes that I made Florida, the trials and tribulations that I went through at Blinn College, has made me the person that I am today."

The question that was most blunt occurred near the end of his presser when a reporter asked if he stole a laptop while at Florida and if he stole items out of a teammate’s locker.

Said Newton: “Sir, I'm going to let you know right now what I did in the past is in the past. My sole focus is to perform at this year's Combine. I'm not going to entertain anything that happened in my past. I'm all about the future. I'm trying to prepare today to make my future as best as it can be."

He was also asked about his father, who has been accused of trying to sell his son’s services for $180,000.

"My father is just like any other father that wants the best for his son. He wants to see his son succeed in every way possible."

But perhaps the most interesting aspect of the NFL combine for Newton this week is that he’s planning to participate in all the workouts (including, gasp, throwing to unfamiliar receivers).

"My biggest thing first is to prepare for the NFL,” Newton said. "I know it's going to be a challenging transition. I have been working out with three unbelievable coaches. During that time I felt as though I wanted to do something at the Combine. I wanted to come out here and compete, because that's what I feel like I wanted to do … have fun competing."

Yet, as well as he performed at his session with the media, ESPN’s Adam Schefter writes that Newton wasn’t perfect during one of his team interviews.

From Schefter:

According to the source, an NFL assistant coach questioned Newton about why he disobeyed his coach's orders in the BCS National Championship Game, when Newton ran a quarterback sneak toward the end of the game rather than take the knee that he was instructed. Newton was not expecting the NFL to ask him about the incident, and did not have a favorable reaction to it, according to league sources. He got defensive, and even referred to it Saturday. Asked about the interviews, Newton said, "Each and every team keeps you on your toes."

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Posted on: February 25, 2011 6:11 pm

Gabbert humble, cocky at same time

Posted by Eye on Football staff

INDIANAPOLIS – During his time in front of the media today at the NFL combine, former Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert was respectful and humble*, and when asked about Auburn QB Cam Newton, he had nothing but nice things to say.

*Also, his head of hair was awfully impressive.

“Cam is an explosive athlete,” Gabbert said in the video below. “He has all the talent in the world. We’re going to compete and fight it out and may the best man win.”

But he wasn’t quite as low-key in an interview on Sirius NFL Radio, via Pro Football Talk. That’s when he said he was a better quarterback than Newton.

“There’s no question,” Gabbert told Adam Schein and Rich Gannon. “I’m going to outwork everybody. My parents have raised me that nothing’s ever going to be given to you in life. You’ve always got to earn it. And that’s what I’ve applied to football and academics, that you’ve got to work for everything you’re going to get.”

I just wish he had said that when CBSSports.com had our cameras rolling.

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Posted on: February 25, 2011 11:30 am

Cowboys reportedly taking a look at Cam Newton

Posted by Will Brinson

Cam Newton might be, as one scout told CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman, the "black Ben Roethlisberger," but for the purposes of the NFL combine, he's Tim Tebow 2.0. Which is to say, EVERYONE is going to be asked about him.

That includes the Dallas Cowboys, who are reportedly going to meet with Newton (as a reminder, our 11th-ranked prospect and No. 2 quarterback) even though they've already got their own "entertainer," Tony Romo, on the roster.

That's according to a report in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Friday that cites "at least two members of the [Cowboys] front office" who said they were meeting with Newton before the draft.

Look, the Cowboys have the ninth-overall pick in the draft. They HAVE to meet with Newton, because not doing so would be a failure to handle their due diligence, even though Romo's locked in as their guy.

But they're not going to draft Cam Newton in that spot.

Why? Well, for starters, they have bigger needs, particularly on the defensive end. And unless Jerry Jones is just head-over-heels for Newton, he knows that an upgrade in the secondary or the defensive line -- Rob Rang has Dallas taking Prince Amukamara and Chad Reuter has them nabbing Marcell Dareus from Alabama -- will benefit the Cowboys more in the immediate future.

Additionally, drafting Newton would send some whacked-out messages. First, that the Cowboys are ready to win right now as currently constructed (i.e. they just don't need an upgrade anywhere). Secondly, and yes in direct opposition to the first part, that the Cowboys aren't ready to compete, because they're looking so far in the future in terms of the quarterback position instead of making a play to be competitive in the NFC East right now.

And, of course, there's the whole issue of blowing up Romo's spot by using a top-10 pick to take another "franchise quarterback" -- there's no way that would end well.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com