Heckling Cam Newton is a thing.
We all likely remember the kid at the 7-on-7 tournament who tried to get under Newton’s skin, but wound up making a fool of himself in the process.
Well, on Tuesday, during a joint practice with the Philadelphia Eagles, an opposing linebacker came for Newton with some verbal jabs.
Eagles LB Calls Cam Newton “Checkdown King”
Per NJ.com’s Mike Kaye, Philadelphia linebacker K’Von Wallace yelled “Checkdown King” Newton’s way after a series of plays where the veteran dumped the ball off to the running back rather than going down the field for a riskier throw.
Right after Wallace yelled the taunt Newton’s way, the veteran QB dropped a checkdown pass to James White in the flat.
When asked to explain his aggression toward Newton, Wallace didn’t make it sound personal.
“I’m just aggressive, in my approach to the game and who I go against,” Wallace said to the media after the session. “I feel like whoever is the opposition, I do my best to get in their head. To say what I need to say, to do what I need to do to beat them, to win, and I felt like at the time, there were a lot of check-downs going on. I had to let him know that, like, not only are you throwing check-downs, you doing it over and over again. You mastered it, you the king of it. You’re King Checkdown, but I feel like, any way you can get into a quarterback’s head, that’s the best approach to do, to say whatever, and mean what you say, basically.”
The 24-year-old Wallace also acknowledged Newton asked to take reps against him, who is on the second team. Wallace said he respected the competitive energy.
What’s Wrong With a Check-Down?
Essentially, nothing, if it’s the right play at the time. There are instances where settling for the check-down can be taken as a lack of confidence in going down the field for chunk plays.
We cannot say definitively if this was the case in the situation that drew out the taunting from Wallace. However, it is true, the Patriots’ offense in 2020 was far too vanilla. Part of this could have been attributed to a lack of weapons in the passing game, concerns with Newton’s arm strength and/or his grasp of the Patriots’ system.
During the first preseason game, Newton threw just 7 passes in 2 series, and he didn’t push the ball down the field. Because of recent examples and last year’s collection of plays, there could be some validity to Wallace’s verbal attack.
On the flipside, when you’re a part of the second unit, it takes some serious gall to stand on the sideline and heckle while the starters work. We’ve seen time and again, young football players show Newton and other veterans respect, but we’ve also seen them go the other way.
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