Why would Cam Newton have a media-only workout?
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.
| February 24, 2011; 5:33 PM ET
Save & Share: 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?
Posted by: chazatlas | February 24, 2011 6:15 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: fearturtle44 | February 25, 2011 8:21 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: poppysue85 | February 25, 2011 10:39 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: VaBroker | February 25, 2011 12:15 PM | Report abuse