Jump to content
Carolina Huddle
  • Hey There!

    Please register to see fewer ads and a better viewing experience:100_Emoji_42x42:

Recommended Posts



This fascinates me. Is this one of the free articles you can look at with the app? I may download it just to read this in more detail

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, tarheelpride said:

This fascinates me. Is this one of the free articles you can look at with the app? I may download it just to read this in more detail

You can choose from any current article, I think.

Believe me, it's worth it. There's waaayyy more information in the article than just what I quoted here. Person covers a lot of ground.

Edited by Mr. Scot

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Mr. Scot said:

Joe Person wrote an extensive article about the process that led up the drafting of Cam Newton in The Athletic.

"This is our guy" : Behind the scenes of the process that led to drafting Cam Newton

You can't read the full story without a subscription but downloading The Athletic's app gives you access to a couple of stories free. I hadn't planned on subscribing myself, but after reading this story I may have to give it a look.

Some interesting tidbits...

Post 2010 season, Jordan Gross went to Jerry Richardson and said "you're paying me to protect the franchise quarterback and we don't have one". Richardson responded by saying that the team planned to hire the best "quarterback developer" they could find.

(nice idea; can't say much for the execution)

After Ron Rivera was hired, he and Marty Hurney agreed that a franchise quarterback was needed. In an initial meeting with scouts, Hurney mentioned Cam Newton and asked how much interest there was in going after him.

There wasn't. In fact, a couple of scouts spoke up to say why they thought he didn't make sense as a number one pick.

But then Khary Darlington offered a differing opinion, giving his thoughts on why Newton would be a good choice.

Darlington's pro-Newton comments were later repeated to Ron Rivera by Hurney. Rivera questioned Darlington about it. Darlington wasn't a fan of the kind of offense Newton played in, but other than that believed in his skill-set. Another Panthers scout at the time described Darlington as Newton's "point man" in the process, and it sounds accurate. Darlington recalls that he and Newton spoke three or four times a week from January up to the draft, including a time where Newton called him at 1:30 am.

The pay for play and stolen laptop stories were known, discussed and investigated. Rivera mentions calling a guy in Florida who knew something about the story. That guy said a bunch of people were involved in the incident but most of the attention was focused on Newton because of his high profile. Rivera also questioned Newton directly on the pay for play story, and was confident in his answers.

Rivera also mentions that on Newton's pro day at Auburn, he basically snuck into the facility and watched Newton's prep while no one knew he was there. Later, he has a chance to speak to Gus Malzahn, and Malzahn pitched Newton pretty hard, calling him a once in a lifetime player.

The pro day was a big deal because Newton had a subpar combine performance (something a lot of us forget). There had also been some chatter because of the Peter King interview and Newton's "icon and entertainer" comment, plus I'm not so hot appearance on Jon Gruden's "QB Camp" program. Knowing now that Newton isn't exactly the greatest at making public comments, those things make more sense now than they did back then.

Leading up to the draft, Newton wasn't an absolute consensus. Darlington continued to stump for Newton, but there were also people pushing for Marcell Dareus, Patrick Peterson, AJ Green and even Julio Jones. Rivera had determined he really wanted a quarterback though, and Hurney agreed. Both thought the need was more important even if there might have been better players, though they were also extremely high on Newton as a player.

To finally satisfy all the concerns, Rivera met directly with Newton, his father and his brother. one of the impressions Rivera remembers about that meeting is that Newton talked more about his brother than himself, which impressed Rivera as his being humble. His father also convinced Rivera that the pay for play thing didn't happen because he would never have done something that could jeopardize his son's career. 

Rivera was satisfied with the answers, but a lot of the scouting staff still wasn't satisfied with Newton.

In fact, there was some fairly significant resistance. Rivera described a meeting where he felt like he heard nothing but negatives about Newton for something like 15 to 20 minutes straight. From his description, it sounds like that really riled him up. Darlington also indicated that he felt some of the discussion was reaching the point of "bullsh-t". In his opinion, Newton was the most polarizing prospect of anyone they discussed during his time with the Panthers.

But the decision was ultimately made, and Darlington got to call him on draft day.

Post draft, Gross called his agent to ask if Newton would participate in his kickball tournament (he did). Gross also recalls walking into the quarterback room after Newton had been meeting with Shula and seeing "a really expensive suit vest" that "positively reeked" of cologne :)

Rivera summarizes by saying something similar to what I've said before. I've described Newton as "that friend you have that nobody else gets but you do". Rivera also believes a lot of people don't understand Newton. And to be fair, a lot of that is on Newton himself because he can be a poor communicator, but if you can get past that, he's an infinitely likeable person.

As a post script, and something that's not mentioned in the article, Khary Darlington is the scout whom I believe was the recipient of a non-disclosure agreement after Jerry Richardson referred to him using a racist term. It sounds like Darlington is a big reason why Newton was drafted and I remember there being a lot of positive buzz about him at the time, yet just a few years later he's parted ways with the Panthers and as far as I know isn't even working in the business anymore. Granted, that might be because he doesn't need to work due to a massive payout, but still...

surprise wow GIF

Good read! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The element that I actually find the most interesting about this story is the amount of conflict there was within the team regarding this decision. Definitely sounds like at least a few of the scouts were vehemently opposed to the whole idea, and much arguing ensued.

I think we as fans tend to believe that these internal discussions are quiet and harmonious. Yet every time I've read a story about the scouting process, it sounds like they're anything but :)

Also kinda doubt that the disagreement stops even after the decision is made.

Edited by Mr. Scot

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wait....is this complimenting Joe Person????

robot wtf GIF

But still very interesting of a read.

Edited by d-dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, FakePlasticTrees said:

Very interesting. However,  it makes me wonder why we did not get this type of info when he was at the Observer.

A local newspaper that needs to be on good terms with the team and a contrarian owner might have a lot to do with that.

  • Pie 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After the Clausen days it was extremely apparent we needed a Qb + we added a new head coach that season. Honestly, I hated the Newton pick at the time and that remained through the preseason but ended by the conclusion of week 1. After week 2, I was completely sold and I've been a fan ever since.

That said, If we would have passed on Cam, that would have haunted this franchise. I really cant imagine going from Clausen to Gabbert. That domino effect is crazy considering we probably would have been picking #1 again, thus Luke wouldn't have been a Panther at that time. 

Darlington tho huh?... Too bad Richardson's tactics took him away from the scouting dept. I'd like to know if he was one of the scouts that pushed to get Norman & Hardy on our radar. And if not are they still working here or did they leave with McDermott and Beane. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Mr. Scot said:

A local newspaper that needs to be on good terms with the team and a contrarian owner might have a lot to do with that.

Yea JR had a lot to do with a lot of things that sucked/were wrong about the team and it's sphere of influence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Athletic is 100% worth it. There’s so many good articles on there for any sport and great league wide pieces too. I’d take advantage of the 50% off special right now 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, ColumbusCounty said:

After the Clausen days it was extremely apparent we needed a Qb + we added a new head coach that season. Honestly, I hated the Newton pick at the time and that remained through the preseason but ended by the conclusion of week 1. After week 2, I was completely sold and I've been a fan ever since.

That said, If we would have passed on Cam, that would have haunted this franchise. I really cant imagine going from Clausen to Gabbert. That domino effect is crazy considering we probably would have been picking #1 again, thus Luke wouldn't have been a Panther at that time. 

Darlington tho huh?... Too bad Richardson's tactics took him away from the scouting dept. I'd like to know if he was one of the scouts that pushed to get Norman & Hardy on our radar. And if not are they still working here or did they leave with McDermott and Beane. 

Jimmy Clausen probably doesn't want to read this article. He doesn't exactly come off good in it :)

I remember in the third preseason game that year, Newton looked awful. A lot of folks we're pretty concerned after that.

He cleaned it up by week one, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, d-dave said:

Wait....is this complimenting Joe Person????

robot wtf GIF

But still very interesting of a read.

After reading his articles with the Athletic, I completely believe it's the Observer's fault for the lack of quality content they have. Also the Athletic is completely worth it. You get access to all kinds of articles like this one. 

  • Pie 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




×
×
  • Create New...