Cam Newton promised to be an icon and an entertainer before he was even officially the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. Then, he went out and basically delivered on his vow with one of the greatest rookie seasons in NFL history.
But by the end of it, Camania was largely overshadowed. Why?
Tim Tebow. Tebowmania. Tebowing.
While Netwon was recognized with the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year Award, he also probably would have been a front runner for the Under-hyped Award.
“In my mind, (he) was the greatest rookie quarterback to ever enter the league,” NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger said on “NFL Total Access” on Wednesday. ”What he was able to accomplish in Carolina, very few people got a chance to really see him on any given Sunday outside of a couple of highlights, and most of those highlights were overshadowed by Tim Tebow.
“This guy was really indefensible by midway through the season.”
Most who study such things suggested Newton would have trouble translating his skill set to the NFL, much less succeed as a rookie. Almost indescribably, Newton sent shock waves through the NFL by passing for 854 yards in his first two games, putting everyone on notice.
Newton didn’t keep that pace but still went on break Peyton Manning’s single-season rookie record for passing yards with 4,051 yards and account for 35 total touchdowns, also a rookie record.
While Tebow was moving the masses off the field, he often struggled to move the Broncos on it, completing 46.5 percent of his passes for 1,729 yards and 12 touchdowns, much of the hype over Newton still faded.
There seems to be little else Newton could really do. Perhaps he simply needs better marketing of his “Superman” touchdown ditty. It didn’t quite catch on to the level of Tebowing.