Cam Newton met with the media on Saturday and displayed the typical confidence that’s been associated with the Heisman winning quarterback since his rise to stardom during the 2010 season. After an interview earlier in the week in which Newton came off as arrogant to many, saying he sees himself as an entertainer and icon, Newton has been in damage control, trying to display a more humble persona at the combine. Still, he faced some criticism after his media session on Saturday, with reporters picking apart his words and scoffing at his propensity to refer to himself in the third person.
But behind closed doors, in individual meetings with NFL teams at the combine, Newton was forced to answer tough questions about his own character and some of the decisions he’s made in the past. According to a report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Newton was caught by surprise when a coach asked about his decision to disobey a directive to take a knee near the end of the BCS Championship, instead calling for a quarterback sneak.
According to the source, an NFL assistant coach questioned Newton about why he disobeyed his coach’s orders in the BCS National Championship Game. Newton ran a quarterback sneak toward the end of the game rather than take a knee as he was instructed.
Newton reportedly became defensive when asked about the game, thinking NFL teams would gloss over it. The question may seem small, but asking why Newton disobeyed his coach’s orders is legitimate, especially when he’ll be expected to fall in line at the NFL level.
From the way he left Florida to the pay-for-play allegations levied against his father, Cecil Newton, there’s been plenty of questions about his character ahead of the 2011 NFL Draft. With teams about to invest tens of millions of dollars in him, general managers and coaches are attempting to do their due diligence ahead of the draft. It’s a vetting process, and getting defensive about a simple question doesn’t help his case, tough it’s unlikely it hurts it significantly either.
Newton and the rest of the quarterbacks hit the field on Sunday morning to run through test and drills at Lucas Oil Stadium. For more on the workouts, check out our 2011 NFL Combine StoryStream.