Former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton finally spoke with the media today at the 2011 NFL Combine and addressed the issue of his prior comments to Peter King. A few days back Newton conducted a phone interview with SI's Peter King in which he said, "I see myself not only as a football player, but an entertainer and icon." This naturally receive a lot of press and questions quickly rose about his dedication to being a great football player. Newton opened his Combine press conference with a statement addressing that question:
"First and foremost, I understand that my obligation is to be the best possible football player that I can be. I know and believe that. The recent comments were made during the announcement of my new endorsement partnership. I was making the point that I want to be the best possible ambassador for them, just like I want to be the best possible ambassador for whatever team I'm lucky enough to play for."
Matt Barrows pointed out the obvious issue when he said that Newton sounded as if he had been well-coached by his handlers. The obvious problem with these kinds of press conferences is that players can really prep themselves, particularly since they know most of the questions will be on obvious issues they've faced. Everything said in press conferences really has to be taken with a grain of salt.
Speaking of Newton, I found an interesting post over at The Big Lead that ran an interesting (if statistically insignificant) number on college QBs:
Cam Newton is likely to be the sixth quarterback drafted in the first round who played on an undefeated team his final year in college since 1977. The others were Vince Young, Jason Campbell, Alex Smith, Chad Pennington, and Kerry Collins. First round quarterbacks in the last 35 years who played on teams with only one loss: Tebow, Sanchez, Leinart, Roethlisberger, Harrington, Vick, Mirer, Walsh, Testaverde, Blackledge, Marc Wilson, and Steve Fuller. Cam Newton is an interesting case, because he carried an Auburn team in his one season as a starter to a championship. If he lives up to the hype, he will be one of the more successful quarterbacks to come from a team with one or fewer losses.
Collins is arguably the most successful of that group of undefeated QBs. That second group of one-loss QBs includes some decent talent, but also some fairly mediocre NFL quarterbacks. It's meant more as a talking point than a statistical argument, but it's still interesting to look at some of these quarterbacks.