FBGP’s 1st and Forever: Has Cam Changed?

Gene Clemons, FBGP Analyst

There is a lot of conjecture that Cam Newton’s changed. Many journalists and analysts would have you believe that Newton has gone through some mystical metamorphosis. The truth is no matter how much people don’t want to admit it, Cam Newton is still just being Cam Newton.

Since most likely his junior year in high school, Newton has been the biggest most athletic specimen on the football field. He’s had to fight off beliefs that he should be a tight end, defensive end or any other position than quarterback, and yet, still managed to just be Cam. Many colleges lost out on a chance to help him refine his skills because they couldn’t see the forest through the trees. It’s been a long-standing belief at footballgameplan.com that if a player has dedicated their life to playing one position and has been successful at that position, then it is illogical to ask that person to be something that they’ve never been. Thank goodness Cam was Cam.

A statistical overview of his career from high school to the pros shows a level of consistency that’s rarely seen in someone not fit to play the position. The belief by those who look superficially at Cam Newton and his ability as a quarterback is that he has matured from a run-first quarterback to a pass-first quarterback. However, a more in-depth look at his career contradicts this belief.

Newton passed for 2,500 yards and 23 touchdowns and ran for 638 yards and 9 touchdowns as a 16-year-old junior in high school. After his highly publicized and overblown divorce from the University of Florida, Newton rebounded at Blinn Junior College. He toasted defenders for  2,833 yards with 22 touchdowns while rushing for 655 yards and leading his team to a national championship. In his only season at Auburn, he passed for over 2900 yards with 30 touchdowns and added over 1500 rushing yards with 24 touchdowns en route to a BCS national championship. For his NFL career, he’s averaged over 3600 passing yards, over 23 passing touchdowns, over 640 rushing yards and better than eight rushing touchdowns. Now he has the Carolina Panthers one step away from the title.

Cam has always been a stud. He’s always been a freak of nature. He’s always been a winner. To act as if he’s suddenly ascending to some new level is irresponsible and quite honestly, disrespectful to what he has already accomplished. He’s only 26 years old and, barring injury, will certainly rewrite the history books. This is not a new trajectory based on a dominating victory in an NFC title game. This is where he expected to be. This is where his track record says he should be. The world that’s in the know is happy that you have finally caught up to it. The question has to be, what took you so long?When he was a Top 10 national high school recruit, where were you?  When rumors swirled that he was in fact a better fit for Urban Meyer’s offense than the “immortal” Tim Tebow, where were you?  When he dominated in Junior College, where were you? When he dominated the SEC where were you?

When he won the Heisman, was the first overall selection, and rookie of the year; where were you?  What’s changed? Even his completion percentage has been consistent. He’s always been a leader. Men have always wanted to follow him. It’s evident to anyone willing to be honest.

He’s still stylin’, he’s still having fun, he’s still running, and he’s still delighting fans. So with all due respect to those of you who believe he’s somehow different, please tell the world because those of us who have followed his career are confused.

The truth is Cam hasn’t changed at all, but maybe, just maybe, you have.

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