Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Follow PostSports on Twitter and Facebook  |  Newsletters: Redskins and Sports   |  RSS
Posted at 5:33 PM ET, 02/24/2011

Why would Cam Newton have a media-only workout?

By LaVar Arrington

While perhaps unconventional at first glance, Cam Newton's pre-draft strategy appears wise to me, and here's why: With all of his accomplishments this past season, Newton still didn't do enough to be considered the top player, or even top quarterback, in the draft.

Knowing that, Team Newton came up with a strategy to keep its guy's face prominent in in every media outlet possible. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that athletics is driven by popularity. The more visible a player is, the more he's talked about. Newton is a good-looking kid who handles himself very well -- attributes Team Newton wants everyone to notice.

Team Newton is trying to build his brand recognition by using the quarterbacks' Heisman Trophy-winning season at Auburn to create the kind of buzz that could propel him to the top of the draft. So far, the strategy has worked.


Just being at the combine is part of the strategy. It gives him an edge over non-attendees, both in terms of showcasing his abilities and currying favor. Newton's willingness to compete and work his way into a top spot is risky, but the payoff could be very big.

Here's where the strategic planning gets interesting: The media workout was smart in a number of ways. He was in a friendly environment, around familiar people. He had his coach readily available directing him through drills. He was throwing the ball to people he has been practicing with up to this point. All these factors created an environment conducive to having an outstanding showing. So if he's not at his best during the combine itself, the media and scouts have another workout to factor in. Most prospects get two formal workouts at the combine and another at a pro day; outside of that, teams may schedule private workouts for their own purposes.

So if Newton doesn't perform well at the combine, his successful media workout will mitigate the damage. The takeaway wll be, "Well, guys are not familiar with the receivers they were throwing to; he wasn't familiar with the people who were taking him through his drills and he wasn't in a familiar environment to do his workout."

If you ask me, it's brilliant to position him this way: If he does have a great showing, everyone has two great workouts to talk about leading up to his college pro day, and it could solidify his argument that he is the best player in the draft.

Talk about a coup. If Newton pulls off this plan, the only reason he wouldn't go first in the draft would be because the Panthers keep the pick and don't need a quarterback.

Make no mistake about it: Whoever came up with the Cam Newton plan should be commended for such a smart strategy.

By LaVar Arrington  | February 24, 2011; 5:33 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Post Sports Live: The Carmelo Anthony trade, the NFL combine and college's basketball stretch run
Next: Was releasing Clinton Portis the right decision?

Comments

Thank you Lavar! I said when he had his media day that it was a smart move. In sales & marketing its known as "touches". Cam had a media coup when he had that work out. It's sad though that Cam Newton haters proclaimed it as a "media stunt". I wish Cam the best. I'm a Panthers fan and though we get the #1 pick in the draft, I don't see the team pulling the trigger and getting him. It will be a decision they will regret before you know it.

Posted by: chazatlas | February 24, 2011 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Any combine or media day is worth as much as my Heath Shuler rookie card. NOTHING.

If football personnel cannot tell the quality of a player by watching 1-4 years worth of games, then they should not be in their positions.

Just look at the Skins:
Shuler, Westbrook, Gardner, D Thomas, Jacobs, Ramsey.

Posted by: fearturtle44 | February 25, 2011 8:21 AM | Report abuse

I would love for the kid to be the real deal- but I have heard from people whose opinions I respect in terms of success in the NFL and there is concern that "Team Cam" is too much, that tossing the ball around for pretty pictures and running fast when no one is really trying to take your had off from the other direction- is essentially just pretty pictures.
The best approach I have seen in recent years has been from Ndamukong Suh- who had the cred coming out of college- but he went to the combine without an entourage, did everything he could as best as he could and mixed well with the other guys as a teammate and leader in his position. I just have a funny feeing about Cam Newton's ability/desire to really put in the unglamorous, non-photo-op time that it will take to make him combine is gifts with a real, successful career.

Posted by: poppysue85 | February 25, 2011 10:39 AM | Report abuse

A good media day and a marketable face? Danny will want him for sure!!

Posted by: VaBroker | February 25, 2011 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company