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Moon feels vindicated for defending Panthers QB Newton

  • By NFL.com
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The words "I told you so" never felt so good to utter -- if only Warren Moon would say them.

Still, Moon, who staunchly defended Cam Newton this offseason while critics claimed the quarterback wouldn't succeed in the NFL, is feeling pretty good after the Carolina Panthers rookie's historic two-game start to his career.

"I feel proud of what he's doing, and I don't have one of those I-told-you-so-type attitudes," the Hall of Fame quarterback told USA Today on Tuesday. "But I do know a little bit about that position and when you're around somebody who's special. I spent some time with (former No. 1 overall draft pick) JaMarcus Russell and all these different young guys.

"I would have never stuck my neck out like I did for Cam."

Before Newton, no quarterback had ever started his career with back-to-back 400-plus-yard passing games, and no quarterback had ever thrown for 400-plus yards in each of his team's first two games of the season. Newton already accomplished both, all while completing 62.7 percent of his passes for three touchdowns and four interceptions without much help from Carolina's running game.

When critics slammed Newton during the offseason, Moon was adamant about it being racially charged, and he maintains that was the case, even though Newton went No. 1 overall to the Panthers.

"Some of the criticism was racial," Moon said. "... I started to feel the same way I felt back in 1978 coming out of college when guys were saying I was too small and my arm wasn't strong enough. Some of the same type of blind criticism was being laid on Cam."

Newton, who's still looking for his first NFL win, can become the first quarterback in league history to throw for 400 yards in three consecutive games when the Panthers host the Jaguars on Sunday.

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