There is very little not to like about Cam Newton. He's extremely intelligent. He's demonstrated maturity beyond his years. He's a leader. He destroyed -- phasered, photon torpedoes on maximum -- many of the things said about him pre-draft by some idiot media and NFL scouts. A number of those things, I felt then and now, were racially based.
Yes, Newton has done it all and oh, by the way, he's probably the mold for the next generation of NFL quarterback.
But now we have seen Newton's first big mistake as an NFL player.
He recently told ESPN this: "I can't sit up here and look at it like, oh man, my critics are racist," Newton says. "I blame JaMarcus Russell and to some degree Vince Young. If you have the opportunity to make that kind of money doing something you love to do, why would you screw it up? I'm trying to be a trailblazer. If Baylor's Robert Griffin decides to come out, I want people to say 'He can be the next Cam Newton' instead of 'He's gonna be the next JaMarcus Russell.'"
Not blaming critics...totally fine. Criticizing Russell or Young...fine. But Newton fell into a trap. He was saying this: Russell and Young were the reasons he was being criticized pre-draft when that is just nonsensical.
I just don't understand why Newton felt the need to A) shield his critics and B) bring up Russell or Young in the first place. What do those two have to do with Newton or his critics?
Young has had his issues but he's 31-19 as a starter. I love Newton as a player and a guy but he has a ways to go before reaching 31-19.
And I don't see Tim Tebow saying: "You know, the reason people had skepticism of me as a quarterback was because Ryan Leaf was a failure."
Newton's logic makes no sense.
Newton: smart guy, great talent, will win a lot of games.
But he just made his first mistake.