Jon Gruden has high praise for ‘Slam’ Newton ahead of Patriots-Raiders contest
Jon Gruden still has some broadcaster in him.
The Las Vegas Raiders head coach, speaking to reporters ahead of his team's Week 3 game against the New England Patriots on Sunday, said quarterback Cam Newton's success doesn't surprise him one bit. In fact, the current Newton reminds Gruden of how the former Carolina Panthers QB looked coming out of college in 2011, when the two met for Gruden's "Quarterback Camp" series on ESPN.
"I haven't seen many guys walk through my doors that look like Cam. I call him Slam, Slam Newton," Gruden said, via the Boston Herald. "That was the nickname I gave him. He’s a power forward playing quarterback. He’s oversized for the position. He’s gifted so much athletically, it’s incredible what he’s accomplished and how his durability’s been."
New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton (1) rushes against Seattle Seahawks linebacker Jordyn Brooks (56) during the fourth quarter at CenturyLink Field. (Photo: Joe Nicholson, USA TODAY Sports)
Newton missed all but two games last season with a foot injury, and the Panthers moved on from him during the offseason before he took a largely incentive-based deal with the Patriots this summer to replace Tom Brady.
During New England's season-opening win over the Miami Dolphins, Newton carried the ball 15 times for 75 yards and two touchdowns while completing 15 of 19 passing attempts. Last week in a shootout loss to the Seattle Seahawks, he threw for 397 yards and two more scores on the ground.
"Cam looks like he’s the usual Cam. He’s a threat to do a lot of different things. It’s a credit to the Patriots," said Gruden, whose Raiders are 2-0 for the first time since 2017. "I think it’s a real credit to their coaching staff to be able to change gears that fast, that well. I guess you expect that from the Patriots’ coaching staff, but he’s impressive, and the way they’ve changed gears is very impressive.
"It's a tough operation," Gruden added, per ESPN. "It always is when you play against Cam Newton and the New England Patriots, and now that they've joined forces, it's double trouble for every defensive staff, every coach and every team that comes in there."
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