Monday, September 3, 2012
Bucs will try to limit Cam Newton
By Pat Yasinskas
Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano may be making the transition from college to the NFL, but he’s already got one trait of pro coaches mastered.
When you’re talking about another team, make it sound like they’re the 1985 Chicago Bears or the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys of the 1970s. When you’re talking about an opposing player, make him sound like a Hall of Famer.
That’s what Schiano did Monday as he met with the media and discussed the regular-season opener with the Carolina Panthers, particularly quarterback Cam Newton.
“He’s athletic, dynamic,’’ Schiano said. “He adds a dimension to the game that I’m probably more used to coming from college than some of the guys that have been in the league for a while. Just because you’re familiar with him, doesn’t mean you can stop him. He proved that last year. He’s a tremendous talent, a tremendous football player and someone we have to make sure we have accounted for and then we have to go make the plays.’’
The talent Newton has that’s more prevalent in college is his ability (and freedom) to run. Newton ran for 706 yards last season, but he’s more than one dimensional. Newton also threw for a rookie record with 4,051 yards and passed for 21 touchdowns.
So how do you stop Newton?
“Not many people have,’’ Schiano said. “If you look at his stat line, he hasn’t been stopped very often. It isn’t really stopping them. You try to limit them. That offense is an explosive offense, let’s call it like it is. They have two explosive players in the backfield, an explosive player at wide out and at tight end. You kind of have to pick where you’re spending your resources and hope the other guys don’t get you. That doesn’t sound real reassuring, does it?’’