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Old 03-31-2011, 04:01 PM    (permalink
Scott Wright
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I think Pro Football Talk had the best response to Moon:

Quote:

But the perception of phoniness knows no racial boundaries. Last year, Tebow became one of the most polarizing figures in all of sports, with plenty of people thinking that Tebow’s decision to wrap himself in religious and goodness is more calculated and forced than natural and genuine. And who can forget the relentless criticism of Jimmy Clausen, who was perceived as a bad teammate with a sense of entitlement — and who slid to the middle of round two in part because of it?

Newton enters the NFL amid many questions and concerns. He allegedly stole a laptop while playing at Florida. He has been caught up in a pay-to-play scandal that, with tonight’s HBO report regarding other far less accomplished players at Auburn getting paid, will likely inch back toward the front burner. Newton has dubbed himself “an entertainer and an icon.” Moon himself has admitted that Newton at times puts “the cart before the horse” when talking about himself.

Also, Newton struggled at the Scouting Combine, and his Pro Day workout was a step below the T-shirt-and-shorts grand slam that quarterback Pro Days so often become. While Newton won the Heisman and a national title, he didn’t have the kind of clearly dominant performance on a huge stage that propelled other quarterbacks to the top of the draft.

All that said, Newton surely will be drafted earlier than Tebow or Clausen were picked, and well before white quarterbacks like Jake Locker and Ryan Mallet, who has absorbed plenty of criticism this year, too, based on unsubstantiated rumors of drug use. Indeed, Newton still could be the first quarterback — and the first player — taken in the draft.

That said, are some of the people criticizing and/or rooting against Newton motivated by race? Undoubtedly. On balance, however, Newton finds himself in the unenviable position of being a high-profile player at a high-profile position that invites a high level of scrutiny in the months preceding the draft. Sure, Blaine Gabbert has received far less poking and prodding — but that’s because his college career was far more muted and unremarkable. Newton is living the reality of life under an electron microscope, the same device that has hovered over Tebow and Clausen and that will be used to study every big-name, well-known rookie quarterback, for as long as there are big-name, well-known rookie quarterbacks.
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