The Case for Cam
Whether you love him or hate him, Tim Tebow has been *THE* story of the year. So much so that all other QB stories have fallen by the wayside. Drew Brees on pace to break Dan Marino's yardage record? Meh. Tony Romo quietly having an out of this world season? Yawn. A rookie QB having arguably the greatest statistical rookie season in the last 20 years at the position? Huh? Let's play a time honored sports writing game. Its called "Obvious Removal of Player Names Next To Stats To Make My Point." I'll give you two players. Tell me who you'd rather have.
PLAYER A: 16 starts, 3,739 yards, 56.7% completion rate, 6.50 YPA, 26 TDs, 28 INTs,
PLAYER B: 14 starts, 3,722 yards, 59.6% completion rate, 7.84 YPA, 17 TDs, 16 INTs
Go ahead, make your choice. I'll wait...
Choice made, right? You went with PLAYER B, right? If you're still on the fence, I'll add to the fact that the year prior to their respective debuts, Player A's team went 3-13 and Player B's team went 2-14. Their rookie records: Player A 3-13, Player B: 5-9 (yet unfinished). Its Player B for SURE now, right?!? That's without even knowing that he has 609 rushing yards and 13 rushing TDs!!!
Spoiler Alert: Player B is Cameron Newton. Player A is Peyton Manning. Before you get all bent out of shape and say "HOW DARE YOU COMPARE THAT UNPROVEN, SCRAMBLIN' ROOKIE TO THE GREATEST QUARTERBACK OF ALL TIME!!!', cool your jets. I'm comparing their rookie seasons. Actually, I'm not comparing their rookie seasons. I'm actually proving that there IS no comparison, that Cam's is significantly better.
He's also been significantly better than Tim Tebow, which you may not have noticed. If you put them statistically side by side, it wouldn't look like they belong in the same league. Remove the stats and just look at their stories, you'll find something muy interasante. Cam Newton did a good deal of winning at the collegiate level, including a Heisman trophy and a National Championship. Yet he walked into this season as one of the most maligned #1 picks of all time. But here he is getting better every week. The way he plays the position may not look traditional, but clearly its working. He's also already grown into his leadership role, a role some doubted he'd EVER be able to assume. All of his teammates can't talk enough about his unfailing will to win...a will to win that sometimes gets him into trouble, as he apparently stews over every loss. You may have noticed that while his fans may sit on complete opposite sides of the spectrum, there are quite a few similarities between Killa Cam and America's Sweetheart Timmy T.
This is not a blog to complain about or give reasons for the dichotomy between them media's portrayal of Tebow and Netwon. Nor is it a blog to claim "I TOLD YOU SO!!!" about Newton. My goal here is to simply point out that the kid has been good...damn good. Does he have a good deal of things to improve on before he becomes a GREAT quarterback? He sure does. But so did Peyton Manning. Does his win/loss record as a pro starter leave a good deal to be desired? You bet. But so did Peyton Manning's. We get all caught up in projecting/predicting/prognosticating that we sometimes forget to look at things "in the moment." In the moment, Cameron Newton is having one of the most truly remarkable rookie seasons of all time. And everyone's got to the start somewhere.