Some NFL quarterbacks can be imitated in practice. Cam Newton is not one of those quarterbacks.
Yes, the Broncos can ask Brock Osweiler, who is 6-8 and mobile, to mimic Newton as they prepare for Super Bowl 50, but Newton is a shooting star. You have to see it in person to truly appreciate it.
“I don’t think there’s anyone who can mimic Cam,” AP Broncos reporter Pat Graham said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “It’s just impossible. He’s just so dynamic. How do you defend that guy? His passing game has improved so much. You couple that with his ability to scramble around, and he’s so big. He’s just a load. Aqib Talib basically said that this guy could play anywhere on the field – and it’s true. He could probably be a defensive end and be just as effective. That’s how good of an athlete he is.”
The Broncos advanced to Super 50 after physically beating up New England, hitting, sacking and otherwise hurrying Tom Brady dozens of times in their 20-18 AFC Championship win. Brady completed fewer than half of his 56 passing attempts, was sacked four times and threw two picks.
The Patriots were three-point favorites against Denver. The Panthers are four-point favorites, and the spread may only get higher.
Can the Broncos physically beat up Carolina the way they beat up New England?
“I think that’s what they have to do,” Graham said. “The bottom line is, you cannot attack Cam Newton with that aggressiveness that Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware did around the edge (against Brady). You just cannot do that because Cam Newton is notorious for taking off and running. That’s why I think the most important three people for the Broncos, especially on that defense, are going to be Malik Jackson, Derek Wolfe and Antonio Smith – their interior line. Those guys have to hold their lanes. If they can hold their lanes and allow DeMarcus and Von to just get around the edge a little bit, it’s going to change everything. But if they can’t hold their lanes and Cam Newton can just get outside the pocket or burst through a lane, he could run for 150 yards in this game.”
Newton has terrorized defenses all season. He has 50 touchdowns (38 pass, 12 rush) to just 11 interceptions in 18 games. He’s thrown for 4,333 yards and rushed for 686. Those are Heisman-like numbers for the former Heisman Trophy winner.
“Denver relies on their one-on-one coverage guys, (but) they’re going to have their backs turned,” Graham said. “If he breaks containment, man, it’s going to be a big game for Cam.”