Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Dilfer views Buffalo as Newton's perfectville
On Monday's edition of "NFL Live," analysts Mark Schlereth and Trent Dilfer each stated a case for Auburn quarterback Cam Newton's best destination.
Schlereth's answer was the Carolina Panthers. They own the first overall pick and need a leading man to take them into the future.
Dilfer argued the best place for Newton was with the Buffalo Bills, who the Heisman Trophy winner is visiting Monday and Tuesday.
Dilfer contended the Bills have the proper infrastructure to accommodate Newton, from head coach Chan Gailey to quarterbacks coach George Cortez to incumbent starter Ryan Fitzpatrick.
"I think it's the ideal fit for Cam Newton for a lot of reasons," Dilfer said. "Fitzpatrick being there, can play the position for a couple years while Cam Newton develops.
"More importantly, Chan Gailey understands how to develop a young quarterback. He's a forward-thinker offensively. He builds his offense around the talent, not injects a player into an offense. I think this is very important for Cam Newton. You see the things he did at Auburn. These are the types of things Chan Gailey will immediately implement into the Buffalo Bills' offense.
"George Cortez, their quarterback coach, is a guy that's been in Canada for a long time and understands that horizontal stretch on the football field and will do a great job with Cam, integrating him into the NFL game."
I couldn't agree more with Dilfer. Many Bills fans see Fitzpatrick's presence as a reason not to draft Newton. I look at it conversely.
Any team would want a veteran like Fitzpatrick around to mentor a big-time prospect. Fitzpatrick is a classic overachiever journeyman. He has fought to stay in the NFL. His work ethic is admirable. He's smart. His teammates respect him and respond to him. And when it would be time for Fitzpatrick to step aside, he's not the type to cause a fuss.
That, plus Gailey's track record with quarterbacks, looks like a fine environment for a young quarterback to grow.