Around the NFL  

 

Chip: Cam Newton like Eddie George who can throw

Print

Protesting the unflagged helmet-to-helmet blows absorbed by Cam Newton in the season opener, Panthers coach Ron Rivera drew comparisons to the NBA's desperate Hack-a-Shaq strategy to contain behemoth Basketball Hall of Fame center Shaquille O'Neal.

Tasked with corralling Carolina's dynamic dual-threat quarterback this week, San Francisco 49ers coach Chip Kelly offered an analogy of his own.

"Cam is unlike any other quarterback in the league," Kelly said Wednesday, via ESPN.com. "He's a second running back back there. ... It's like Eddie George that can throw. You know, it's a tough task for any defense."

One of the most punishing running backs of the Super Bowl era, George was built like a rock at 6-foot-3 and 235 pounds. Newton is closer to 6-foot-6 and 250 pounds.

Once Newton flees the pocket, he can use his physicality to deliver George-like blows to smaller linebackers and defensive backs. His frame and athleticism have made him one of the greatest red-zone and short-yardage weapons the game has ever seen.

That works both ways, though.

As NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino explained this week, once Newton's posture changes from passer to runner, he's no longer afforded the protection customarily given to pocket quarterbacks.

"When they become a runner, they become a different player," Kelly said, echoing Blandino's comments.

Newton isn't going to stop running. Too much of his individual and team success relies upon his ability to bedevil defenses through the air as well as on the ground.

As long as that remains his playing style, though, he's going to subjected to more hits than any other quarterback.

Print