Boomer Esiason recently released a Top 5 Overrated NFL Players list, ranking Cam Newton #1 overrated NFL player. The bulk of Boomer’s claim rested on two premises. First, “He is not Peyton Manning; he is not Drew Brees; he is not Tom Brady, or Aaron Rodgers,” he stated. Second, he questioned if Cam made players around him better or if they made him better than he really is? Now really we could just stop there. Boomer obviously hasn’t looked at the Panthers’ roster lately or followed the organization over the last five years. Did he notice the 2-14 team Cam inherited? This team had serious personnel deficiencies on both sides of the ball prior to last season. While Gettleman addressed these deficiencies on defense, there are still glaring personnel weaknesses on offense. The offensive line has been in shambles for years, Carolina has never had a strong receiving core, and the backfield has ran half-staff because of Jonathan’s Stewart's chronic injuries. I guess Boomer views Steve Smith’s 2011 and 2012 resurrection as a result of him simply turning on a switch. The three years, he languished in obscurity must of been because he didn’t make Matt Moore and Jimmy Clausen better, but just chose to under-perform.
Boomer’s claim is just another example of the longstanding disdain for Cam Newton by a substantial portion of the national media. This is nothing new, but by this point it has become so commonplace, one has to wonder does this have anything really to do with Cam himself, or is there some underlying prejudice involved? Is it Cam or is it the “new age” quarterback? Because these guys aren’t the “prototypical” statue quarterbacks that the Boomers were, there is this strange belief that they they aren’t athletic quarterbacks, but just great athletes who just happen to play quarterback. Their success is rarely attributed to their quarterbacking ability, but instead attributed to “freakish athleticism.”
I’ll let you draw your own conclusions as to why that is…..I’ve got my own, which will be coming to the website soon. Let’s just say Cam Newton and RGIII are viewed as guys whose successes are because of their athleticism, while Boomer’s boy Andrew Luck’s quarterbacking foregone greatness says a lot. If you can tolerate Boomer until his take on Trent Richardson, he describes Luck as “an All-World quarterback.” So what has Luck done to establish himself as “All World” already? Was it his one playoff win? Is that all it takes? What does it say to just accept Luck’s greatness, but then call Cam overrated in the midst to comparing him to quarterbacks with Super Bowl rings and who on their way to the Hall of Fame.
Please Boomer, point to the stats that so clearly delineate Andrew Luck as an “All World” quarterback, but regulate Cam to a “good” quarterback. Take a look at their career stats, and you’ll see that this supposed gap doesn’t exist.
I’m not saying that Cam Newton should be proclaimed an elite QB right now, but I don’t think Andrew Luck should be either just yet.
What ensues from all of this is that Cam isn’t overrated, Boomer, he is underrated. Like I said, this is nothing new. He has withstood unwarranted criticism from a dismissive media before he ever took an NFL snap. Former Texan GM Charlie Casserly sounded just as prejudiced as Boomer when he stated that he would “take Kevin Kolb over Cam Newton 100 times out of 100 chances.”
This is just silly. Cam Newton has been nothing less than sensational since the very first moment he stepped on the field. He took the league by storm, putting up Madden numbers in his rookie season when all circumstances seemed to suggest a difficult transition to the NFL. During a lockout year, 2-12 team, and a new head coach, Cam defied the diminutive analysis from haters like Casserly by earning Rookie of the Year, making the Pro Bowl, and shattering rookie quarterback records in rushing, passing, and rushing TDs.
In further contradiction to the hate, Cam has only improved each year--like any young promising player should. This past year’s steps forward as a leader on and off the field, the ability to will 4th quarter wins, a 61.7% completion rate, and a 12-4 record all support Cam’s growth and the reality that he is a NFL quarterback--not just a freak athlete who plays quarterback.
So, consider this reality laying the “boom” on the subconsciously bigoted Boomer! It's time to just accept that Cam Newton is just as viable as any other talented, effective quarterback who has yet to win a Super Bowl Championship. Even when he does, I have a sneaky feeling it will not be because of "Cam," but in spite of him in the eyes of guys like Boomer Esiason. How many Super Bowls did Boomer win by the way? Should we judge him in comparison to Montana, Young, Elway, and Favre in an overrated discussion? I'm guessing he won't fair well in such company in the end. One thing is for sure, most people think of it like this......
By "the Professor" aka Tony Dunn.