I think with the success that Cam Newton and Tim Tebow are enjoying in the NFL the dynamics of the quarterback position could be changing in pro football.
The ability of Newton and Tebow gives them the potential to extend plays and turn a bad situation into a good, or even a great play, for the offense.
On a play when none of the receivers can shake the pass coverage before the rush gets to the passer, the best thing a quarterback who can’t run is going to be able to do is throw the ball away to avoid a loss. A guy like Newton can run the football for positive yardage in that situation or buy extra seconds with his elusiveness to give receivers time to get open.
It just tickles me when I think back to all the nonsense we heard about Cam Newton before he began playing NFL?games this year. People were saying he can’t do this, he can do that, or whatever. It was ridiculous then and I think everybody has figured that out by now.
Cam has made a big difference in this year’s Carolina Panthers team. They still aren’t real good, but they are a lot better than they were last year before he arrived.
The Denver Broncos have been successful since Tebow took over at quarterback. I think Cam is a better player than Tebow. It would be interesting to see what the Panthers’ record would be this year if they had Denver’s defense.
I think you are going to see revised thinking in the NFL when drafting quarterbacks who can’t run the football. Guys like Andrew Luck, who is a good runner and deadly throwing the football, will be in high demand. He is like NFL quarterbacks Aaron Rogers and Matt Ryan. Luck did a great job at Stanford despite not having a lot of speed to work with in his wide receivers group. He should be an outstanding pro, too.
Newton and Tebow were Heisman Trophy winners and this year’s winner, Robert Griffin III, is going to be an interesting quarterback for the pro scouts to evaluate. I enjoyed watching him play this season and I think he was the right choice to win college football’s most prestigious individual award.
Being 9-3 at Baylor is like being 12-0 at some other colleges that have more tradition and more good players. The fact that Griffin’s team lost three games shouldn’t have even been a factor in not voting for him to win the Heisman. Luck, the runnerup, has the type of credentials that could have won the award if not for RGIII’s great season.
The third place finisher, Trent Richardson, has done everything his Alabama team could ask for in a running back. On the subject of running backs, Montee Ball of Wisconsin had a tremendous year. He certainly put up Heisman type numbers this year, some of the best ever produced by a running back. If Ball had played on an undefeated team, he could have easily been the guy who brought the Heisman home from New York City.
The only defensive guy among the Heisman finalists, The Honey Badger, is a fun player to watch. He is all in when he puts on a football uniform. I really enjoy watching special players and he is one of them. I don’t know if I remember a player creating more havoc for opponents on defense and in the kicking game than he did this year.
I am going to be interested to see where Griffin is taken in the 2012 NFL Draft and what type of success he has in the pros. In my opinion, the success of Newton and Tebow is going to help the new Heisman winner’s draft stock.
(If you have a question or a subject you would like me to write about in future columns, you can email it to PatDye@autigers.com.)
Editor’s Note: This is part of a series of columns that College Football Hall of Fame member Pat Dye is writing for AUTigers.com about the game he played and coached. An All-American player at Georgia and one of the top head coaches in SEC history at Auburn, he also served as a head coach at East Carolina and Wyoming. Dye participates in the Legends Poll, a Top 25 rating of the best teams in college football as determined by a panel of all-star former head coaches. Dye writes three columns for AUTigers.com--The Dye-Log, the Dye-Gest and Pat’s Picks.
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