With two games in the books for the Las Vegas Raiders, they’ve faced off against two pretty immobile quarterbacks in Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Brees. That’s going to change on Sunday as they are going against Cam Newton and the New England Patriots. After a couple of down years, Newton looks as good as he did in 2015.
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden covered a lot of Newton’s games when he was a TV analyst and had him on his Quarterback Camp show on ESPN. He will now get his first chance to coach against him. Gruden recently had a chance to talk about the former MVP and revealed the nickname he has for the quarterback.
“I haven’t seen many guys walk through my doors that look like Cam. I call him ‘Slam.’ Slam Newton. That was the nickname I gave him. He is a power forward playing quarterback,” Gruden told Patriots reporters, via ESPN.
Those comments are peak Gruden. He’s got nicknames for probably every player in the NFL. The one he’s got for Newton is pretty perfect.
Gruden Believes Patriots Are Tough to Stop
Despite losing a ton of key players for the season, the Patriots look better than anybody expected. Newton’s had a couple down years because of a litany of injuries but he looks healthy and is playing at a high level.
“Cam looks like he’s the usual Cam. He’s a threat to do a lot of different things,” Gruden said.
“It’s a tough operation. It always is when you play against Cam Newton and the New England Patriots, and now that they’ve joined forces, it’s double trouble for every defensive staff, every coach and every team that comes in there.”
Even with two wins to start the season, the Raiders defense has struggled quite a bit. Newton might be the stiffest test they have yet. He’s a dynamic playmaker and that’s likely to give the defense some serious problems.
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Gruden Can’t Comprehend Newton’s Talent
The biggest threat that Newton poses to the Raiders is his ability to both run and pass. Gruden knows this could be a problem.
“They run power plays to his left when taking people on with his right shoulder. [Then] he gets up and throws a bullet across the field. I don’t know how he does it. … I think it’s amazing,” Gruden said.
For those who remember, Gruden was somewhat tough on Newton heading into the NFL. Any apprehensions about the quarterback seem to have disappeared. He’s a tough guy to cover and is probably the best quarterback at running the ball that the Raiders will face this year.
Now, the Patriots have been playing surprisingly well this season but they do have big holes on the roster. Outside of Newton, they don’t have many dynamic playmakers on offense. Plus, they lost a number of key defenders prior to the season. It will be tough but this is still a winnable game for the Raiders.