Cam Newton, Colin Kaepernick and Superbowl 50

knownone

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 7, 2010
Messages
4,048
Reaction score
633
I've been watching a lot of All-22 in attempt to get hyped for the Super Bowl (it's not working) and I've started to notice a lot of similarities between Cam Newton and 2013 Colin Kaepernick.

In 2013 Jim Harbaugh did a phenomenal job of building a system and scheme that protected Kaepernicks deficiencies. Kaepernick was not great at reading defenses and relied heavily on a scheme designed to get one or two guys open rather than forcing Kaepernick to read and react to the defense. It worked well, largely due to the threat of Kaepernick running. This was easily apparent on film, Kaepernick for all intents and purposes was a one read QB, who relied heavily on his running ability and play action to succeed. Once defenses figured out how to contain Colin and take away his first read he was no longer a truly dynamic QB.

I see a lot of that in Cam Newton. Cam is better than Colin at reading the defense, but his scheme is seemingly designed to protect him as a passer. Cam in much the same was as Kaepernick struggles when his first read isn't open, this is masked however by a scheme that is so well designed that Cam is almost never forced to make more than one or two reads. Carolina has such a bevy of running plays that are so diverse and expertly crafted that most defense get so confused, that play action absolutely torches them. Throw in the read option and the threat of Cam running and you have an offense that is nearly unstoppable.

For Kaepernick you can obviously point to the 2013 NFC Championship as the end of his dominance, he went up against a team that had a front 7 that could stop the run, pressure, and contain him. A HOF secondary that blanketed his first two reads, and forced him to read the defense and be the pocket passer he wasn't. Kaepernick couldn't, and he has never been able to achieve the same amount of success that he had leading up to that game.

Cam Newton faces a similar test on Sunday. I think Denver has the defense to stop the run and contain Newton, they have the secondary to force him to his 3rd and 4th reads, and the pressure to force him to make quick decisions. If Newton can overcome that, he is worthy of all the hype we've seen thus far. If not I'll have a hard time seeing him as anything more than a better version of Kaepernick, the guy who just two years ago was also lauded as the next best QB.
 

kearly

New member
Joined
Mar 6, 2007
Messages
15,975
Reaction score
0
I think Newton will have far more staying power but I think it is a fair comparison. Newton was actually pretty decent at making reads in college, its just that his growth since then has been glacially slow. I don't think he is quite as hopeless at being field general QB as Kaepernick, but it's an issue and Carolina has had to scheme for it.

At the same time, Newton has intangibles Kaepernick does not, including strong leadership. He doesn't have to dominate in the pocket like Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers to be an effective QB. I think his numbers are a bit inflated this year thanks to the NFL's easiest schedule, but he's always been a solid QB and will continue to be one. And if his growth ever accelerates, he could be a scary good QB.

Think about all the hype for Luck, and Newton is basically living in the same body as him. I see Newton as being a lot like John Elway, a big QB who ran so much because he trusted his legs more than the accuracy of his arm. But accuracy aside, what an arm.
 
OP
OP
K

knownone

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 7, 2010
Messages
4,048
Reaction score
633
kearly":286h86u6 said:
I think Newton will have far more staying power but I think it is a fair comparison. Newton was actually pretty decent at making reads in college, its just that his growth since then has been glacially slow. I don't think he is quite as hopeless at being field general QB as Kaepernick, but it's an issue and Carolina has had to scheme for it.

At the same time, Newton has intangibles Kaepernick does not, including strong leadership. He doesn't have to dominate in the pocket like Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers to be an effective QB. I think his numbers are a bit inflated this year thanks to the NFL's easiest schedule, but he's always been a solid QB and will continue to be one. And if his growth ever accelerates, he could be a scary good QB.
100% agree with you. Newton is a great QB for all of the reasons you've stated, and as you pointed out he does have the potential to be a scary QB, cannot agree with you more on that point.

I've felt a little bogged down in all of the hype surrounding Newton as the face of the league and the next best QB, and IMO after studying him a little bit he just hasn't proven to me that he's on that level yet. That's the message I hoped to convey in my comparison.
 
Top