Cam Newton wants to be a 'nightmare'

May, 11, 2011
5/11/11
4:16
PM ET
Just catching up on e-mails and realized I had yet to share with you this great radio interview new Carolina quarterback Cam Newton did with WFNZ Radio in Charlotte.

Newton covered all sorts of ground and gave extensive answers. You can read the whole transcript here. But the part that jumped out at me most was Newton talking about the other three starting quarterbacks in the NFC South.

Newton said he used to ask himself if he could do the things Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Josh Freeman do. But he said he’s changed his approach.

“But now to flip that, to keep me motivated, I ask myself now can Drew Brees do what I can do?’’ Newton said. “Can Josh Freeman do the things that I can do? Can Matt Ryan do the things that I can do? So, I’m motivated to be what those guys are, which is be an excellent pocket passer. I think I have the attributes to do that.’’

At Auburn, Newton was labeled as more of scrambler and he doesn’t like that perception.

“I think people are mistaken by the fact that I don’t just go from one read and run, and I’ve heard that so many times,’’ Newton said. “But to be successful in the SEC, you cannot be one-dimensional, and I don’t think people understand the talent level that the SEC has. But I’m patient enough to be in the pocket; I’m patient enough to go through my reads and you have to be that in this league, because if you don’t you will be exposed from excellent defensive coordinators to excellent defenders. So my challenge to myself is to become what those guys are and even better. And as I work, one thing that sticks out in my mind is how can I become a defensive coordinator’s nightmare?’’

That last part is a great line. I know there are plenty of Newton detractors out there. But, so far, you have to give the kid credit for saying all the right things.

“I want to have an answer for everything they’re throwing at me -- whether they’re blitzing or having to throw to a hot receiver, whether they’re sitting back in coverage and I have to be patient in the pocket, or whether a lane opens up and I tuck it and run,’’ Newton said. “You know, there’s nothing that a defense can do that I don’t have a defense for and that’s why I work to be the best.”

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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