They’re both elite running quarterbacks with different running styles. Obvious. Their passing styles are even more different.
Kaepernick likes to throw the ball deep downfield to his first or second read and, if neither one is open, Kaepernick takes off and runs. He has not become the type of quarterback who stands in the pocket and goes through the full progression, looking at three or four receivers. That’s because he doesn’t thrive when there’s pressure in the pocket – he’s completing just 49 percent of his passes under pressure this season, third-worst in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus.
But Newton has become a progression-reading quarterback. Watch him against the Niners on Sunday. He’ll stand in the pocket and be calm, almost bored, and scan the whole field like he’s Tom Brady. He doesn’t seem to be worried about the pass rush – he’s completing a league-leading 75 percent of his passes when he’s under pressure this season.
“How do you defend Cam Newton?” Trent Dilfer asked rhetorically on a Bay Area radio station recently. “Teams have tried to put pressure on him and make him make quick decisions. He’s really adjusted well this year and has gashed teams with the quick throws. He’s a dilemma.”
In this way, Cam is a more advanced passer than Kap. And Cam is almost two years younger than Kap – Cam is 24 and Kap is 26.