Cam Newton will leave us saying Michael who?
It’s hard to look at Cam Newton’s success with the Carolina Panthers and not try to compare him to Michael Vick. No other quarterback in the league can do what Newton can do with both his arm and his feet but Newton has qualities that are already setting him apart from Vick.
The most obvious thing is the size factor. Newton is five inches taller and over 30 pounds heavier than Vick. Vick has had his share of injury problems over the years which you can expect from someone so small who runs as much as he does. Newton has dazzling open field running ability similar to Vick but he also has that Ben Roethlisberger factor in that he is hard to bring down with just an arm tackle.
Not only does Newton’s size help him in the open field it benefits his team in the red zone and in short yardage situations.
What’s really scary about Newton’s game is that Newton is doing something it took Vick nine seasons to master: he is a pocket passer.
If you really want to see how spectacular Newton’s numbers are then compare them to the numbers Vick posted as a full-time starter back in 2002.
Michael Vick was drafted number one overall by the Atlanta Falcons back in the 2001 draft but played behind Chris Chandler his rookie season. Vick would be handed the full-time starting duties the following year and didn’t disappoint throwing for 2,936 yards, 16 touchdowns, and eight interceptions. He also ran for 777 yards and eight touchdowns that year.
Newton rushed for 706 yards and set an NFL record with 14 rushing touchdowns by a quarterback. Newton has almost accomplished in eight games what it took Vick fifteen games to do. Newton’s rushing statistics are nice but his passing numbers are even more impressive when compared to Vick’s 2002 totals.
Newton threw 4,051 yards, 1,115 yards more than Vick in 2002. Newton also completed 60 percent of his passes as opposed to Vick’s 54.9 percent back in ’02 and threw for five more touchdowns (21).
The point that I’m trying to make is that Newton is already light years ahead of where Vick was coming into the league and is only going to get better. As Vick’s skills erode and his numbers decline, Newton could be well on his way to rewriting the record books and revolutionizing the quarterback position the way we expected Vick to when he came into the league. Scary thought but by the time Newton hangs up his cleats we might be saying, “ Michael who?”
Roosevelt Hall has been involved with the reporting and broadcasting of professional and college sports since 2006 having worked as a videographer, reporter and writer. Roosevelt also covers both the Atlanta Falcons and the Atlanta Hawks for Outside the Redzone. Follow Roosevelt on Twitter @RooseveltHall1