Jon Gruden’s little sit downs and lessons with potential NFL draft picks are quickly becoming legendary.  They are also said to be directly responsible for the way some players end up in the draft.  There are many who believe that Gruden’s bit with Jimmy Clausen resulted in his dramatic drop in the draft.  Cam Newton may experience the same thing.

On a segment that is airing on ESPN over and over and over again, Cam Newton sits down and works out with Gruden.  In the segment, Gruden talks to Newton about NFL play calling “verbiage” or language.  He asks Newton to give him an Auburn play call whereupon Newton sits there like a deer in the headlights.  Gruden then goes on to give an example.

“Flip right, double-X, Jet, 36 counter, naked waggle, X-7, X-quarter.”  Gruden rattles off as effortlessly as he would say his own name.  He then asks Newton to give him something of the same from his Auburn days.  No go.  Newton goes on to explain that on the sidelines someone would hold up a sign with a number on it like say 36 and that was the play period.  There was no play calling or play language remembering.  This should be concerning for any NFL team and certainly for any team where an extensive play calling list that involves many words is included.

Newton also demonstrated his other problems.  Newton used an gun analogy to demonstrate how he feels about his detractors.  He was the gun supposedly and his detractors were to be used as his ammunition.  On the field with the receivers he was working out with, he displayed the persona of an athlete looking for media attention.  His ending workout huddle word was “swag” and as he was walking off he said for the cameras of course, that others shouldn’t copy that, saying it was copyrighted.

The more I see of Newton, the more he appears to be a clone of Vince Young.  Very athletic.  Extremely strong.  Not NFL smart and all about the hype.  In the NFL, those who would go by combine results or athletic measures to draft someone in the top spot and overlook the intangibles is deserving of whatever fate befalls their team when they do.  For Newton, the intangibles are not invisible.  He has time and again put them on display for anyone with eyes and ears.  He hasn’t a clue how an NFL offense works and he wants to be on camera, be a star, more than he wants to be a team player.

Will he still be drafted number 1 overall?  Probably.  NFL teams have demonstrated their inability to resist the “star” rankings.  Time and again these teams have paid the price.  Vince Young anyone?  The 49ers NOT taking Tom Brady because of his combine report?  Cam Newton is looking more and more like a pile of trouble attached to a strong arm.   Good luck Carolina.


  1. as a season ticker holder for the Titans, this is a disappointment…we surely don’t need anyone of vince young’s caliber on our team..ever again! this is sad..what a waste of time

    • The Panthers are going to be taking a huge risk if they take Newton #1 overall in my opinion. And it’s more his personality and character that would concern me if I were them. They are just asking for trouble and he may not be able to transition well into an NFL scheme of play. Too great a risk for what they would have to give up.

  2. I don’t understand how the gun analogy and the whole swag things are “other problems”. People are way to sensitive about mentioning guns these days. He isn’t using it as a violent analogy, and it is actually a good comparison. Makes sense and anyone offended by it shouldn’t be allowed to watch football. Pathetic.

    Also the swag thing. He was obviously joking around when he told everybody not to copy that, and they all laughed. He was just having fun. Again, Pathetic.

    I don’t think Newton will be successful in the NFL, but some of these “problems” are just stupid nit picking. But I do agree he embarrassed himself in front of the NFL Nation.

    • You agree he embarrassed himself in front of the NFL Nation, yet whatever caused these embarrassments is not worth mentioning? Please. The guy is a media seeking, superstar wanting, lack of character having, entitlement believing, short on “NFL smarts” guy with a strong arm who will be taken number 1 overall and the Panthers will deserve whatever they get with him….which will be Vince Young/JaMarcus Russell/Matt Leinart – which the last I time I checked is a very bad thing to have on your football team. Bet on it.

  3. I agree with everything you said in the post, but he embarrassed himself by the whole “we hold up a 36 card for plays” and that whole bit. Not the stuff you mentioned in the article.


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