Cam Newton, Andrew Luck show quarterback position changing

The lead-up to Week 9 focused on the duel between Robert Griffin III and Cam Newton.

It was breathless, though not careful, neglecting subtleties in either quarterback's game. Griffin's running relies on Olympic-caliber speed, Newton's on brawn (he's 25 pounds heavier).

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As a persona, Newton seems more emotional, less circumspect, less politic.

That's not to say the comparison was gratuitous. They are the last two Heisman winners, each a world-class athlete.

And, yes, they're black.

One wonders if Newton would've been compared to Vince Young if he weren't.

Griffin, for his part, wants to be compared to Aaron Rodgers. Another way of saying, "Quarterback first, athlete second."

It's worth noting they played in D.C., where the Redskins were shepherded into national consciousness by an avowed segregationist. I'd be happy to report that George Preston Marshall is turning over in his grave: two black quarterbacks, one in a Redskins throwback jersey.

Other than that, it was just a football game.

The historic contest was Indy-Miami, where two rookies threw for a record 723 yards: Andrew Luck, 433, breaking Cam's record; Ryan Tannehill, a mere 290.

One couldn't help but notice: a couple of very athletic white guys.

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Luck's 40 time was the same as Newton's. Tannehill was primarily a receiver until his junior year.

The position is evolving.

Sunday's real trail-blazer was in Seattle. Russell Wilson finished with three touchdowns and a passer rating of 127.3. Wilson's another great athlete, and charitably listed as 5-foot-11.

He just happens to be a quarterback.

Follow Mark Kriegel on Twitter @MarkKriegel.

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