It’s going to be Cam Newton’s lot in life, it seems. Not only is he surely going to be the most analyzed draft choice in NFL history, it’s likely he’ll face that same kind of scrutiny when his NFL career begins.
Senior Editor Phillip Marshall
With every bad pass, every decision that doesn’t work out, those who have questioned everything about him will nod their heads knowingly. Some will race to their computers to write about what a bad guy he is, how he’s really not any good, blah, blah, blah.
At least, Newton ought to be accustomed to it by now.
The latest salvo came from Nolan Nawrocki of Pro Football Weekly. You might have seen it in Ronnie Sanders’ post on the Bodda Getta Board. Here’s what Nawrocki wrote under the heading “negatives:”
"Very disingenuous — has a fake smile, comes off as very scripted and has a selfish, me-first makeup. Always knows where the cameras are and plays to them. Has an enormous ego with a sense of entitlement that continually invites trouble and makes him believe he is above the law — does not command respect from teammates and will always struggle to win a locker room . . . Lacks accountability, focus and trustworthiness — is not punctual, seeks shortcuts and sets a bad example. Immature and has had issues with authority. Not dependable."
I don’t know Nolan Nawrocki. I’d never heard of him before I read that. But I feel safe in saying this: He doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about.
He figured all this out how? By watching a press conference or two? It’s clear he hasn’t talked to any of the people who won the national championship with Newton last season.
“Does not command respect from teammates and will always struggle in the locker room?” Based on what player after player after player has said, that’s the most ridiculous statement of all.
In 41-plus years in this business, I have seen no player be so vilified without evidence. He had the best season of any college football player in my lifetime and maybe in anybody’s lifetime. He was at his best when it mattered most against a schedule that included a remarkable seven games against teams that finished in the final top 25. His teammates followed him, liked him and respected him, even though he didn’t join them until January of 2010.
But those who, for some reason, so desperately want Newton to fail won’t pay attention to those absolute facts. They’ll rely on innuendo, vague accusations and amateur psychology.
Newton will smile and move on, laughing all the way to the bank.