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The Drive with Josh Graham - Cam Newton Hate?

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham
The Truth Network Radio
September 18, 2019 6:45 pm

The Drive with Josh Graham - Cam Newton Hate?

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham

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September 18, 2019 6:45 pm

Host Josh Graham with Desmond Johnson, Aaron Gabriel. Josh looks at the different reasons why people claim to dislike Panthers QB Cam Newton. Is Panthers backup QB Kyle Allen ready if needed for Sunday? Plus, Charlotte HC Will Healy and Greensboro News & Record's Ed Hardin stop by. Tune into The Drive with Josh Graham Mon-Fri 3-6pm on Sports Hub Triad!


Attention, please. This is The Drive with Josh Graham Podcast. Tune into The Drive 3 until 6pm weekdays on the Sports Hub. I love it.

It's brilliant. They're always lurking, man. This anti-cam tribe that lives here in the state of North Carolina and across the country and covering the Panthers for most of his career here.

It's the most confounding thing to me. Cam Newton, he's the most misunderstood athlete of this decade. And we don't know if he's going to play Sunday against the Cardinals. Ian Rappaport said that if Cam didn't practice today, he likely wasn't going to play. Ron Rivera said a short while ago Cam was out. And according to some reports, Cam was still in a walking boot.

So it doesn't look favorable he's going to play. Cam's polarizing, but not in the way most MVP winning quarterbacks are polarizing. Tom Brady's polarizing. Great athletes are that way. And it's usually debating, is he the greatest of all time? Or is this guy a Hall of Famer?

Is this quarterback better than this quarterback? And people draw lines when it comes to greatness, which in turn makes you polarizing. That's why the polarization of Cam is a fascinating thing. Because it's not really the football that people are most interested in talking about. Other than his football ability, he shouldn't really be that polarizing. Antonio Brown is polarizing because of what he did off the field to force himself out of Pittsburgh and then out of Oakland. And now this stuff with sexual abuse charges and the civil lawsuit that was handed his way. There's polarization there.

Ray Rice, Tyreek Hill. That's not what we're talking about with Cam Newton either. He's not a high alcohol guy. He's got the million megawatt smile. He's loved by kids. He's big into charitable endeavors. And he's always been into that. And he hasn't been convicted of one crime in his professional career.

So where does the venom come from? What is the root of that? Paul Feinbaum said this earlier today on ESPN. And usually, whether it's Cowherd or Feinbaum or Bayless or other critics in the media, we don't really give them the platform on this show. Because usually it's just ridiculous stuff. It's hot takery.

People trying to one up each other. I'm not big into that. This show's never been big into that.

But the reason I want to play what Feinbaum said this morning on ESPN is because I feel like there is a large faction of people that agree with what Feinbaum had to say. We're not watching the beginning of the end. It is the end. It's over for Cam Newton.

I don't know why we are mincing words and trying to find a pretty way to put it. I think he's a train wreck right now. He can't do what he used to do. And quite frankly, forget the sympathy tour. Cam Newton has never really cared about anyone other than Cam Newton.

And that doesn't mean he shouldn't be given the opportunity. But he's brought this franchise down. It's over for Cam Newton. Nice knowing you, but you're done. Nice knowing you. There's nothing more condescending than saying nice knowing you, but you're done. It's so sports media. Nice knowing you Cam.

As if Paul Feinbaum knows Cam Newton. But you're done. You're done.

So dismissive. Couple things here. Brought the Carolina Panthers organization down. The Panthers have been to one Super Bowl before Cam arrived.

They were a team that won two games in order to draft number one. Cam Newton won an MVP award. Cam Newton brought the Panthers to the playoffs just two seasons ago. This is an organization that just last year was 500 and pretty much their entire 25-year stretch they've set at 500. Cam Newton, he's elevated the Panthers. And anytime you're looking at how well somebody did in a position of leadership, look at what the place was when you arrived and where it is when you left. And there is an NFC Championship trophy in the trophy case as a result of Cam Newton.

There's an MVP award. There's a lot of attention that he's brought that's been mostly positive to the Carolina Panthers. So that's number one among the ridiculous things Feinbaum just said there. There are a lot of people who agree with that. Even more people who agree, Cam Newton is somebody who's only interested in himself.

He's never been interested in anybody else. That's quite an accusation to put on any athlete that you really don't know. Let alone somebody who's in the limelight as often as Cam is and spends so much time in the limelight doing positive things. Whether it's his turkey giveaways he does every year in November or his charitable kickball tournament, his visits to hospitals, his work with kids, his heart for kids.

I just don't know where you get that from. But if I had to guess, hearing Panther fans the last 10 years, and I'm mainly looking at the Panther fans who are anti-Cam people, even though Cam brought him to a Super Bowl, I'm mainly focused on the people who call themselves Panther fans, yet say they dislike Cam Newton. And I think there's really four big charges here that he's had.

Really three. The three biggest charges against Cam Newton. He dresses differently than anybody else.

He celebrates success. And he's black. Those are the three things that I think you point to as charges against Cam Newton that I continue to see time and time again.

Maybe you can focus on the towel on his head. Oh, but Josh, he was arrested for burglary back at Florida in 2008. You don't care about that? You didn't care about that then? You don't care about that now? He was a backup quarterback at Florida behind Tim Tebow when that happened.

And who's perfect at 18, 19 years old? I wasn't. I'm pretty sure you weren't either. Since then, as a professional, Cam Newton hasn't been convicted one time. So I don't think people made up their minds on Cam Newton because of what happened at the University of Florida in 2008, and the unfounded, air quote, crimes with him and his dad at Auburn before he became an NFL player on his way to winning the Heisman Trophy. He dresses differently than everybody else.

This is maybe what makes him the most misunderstood athlete of this decade. When they see him dress the way he was this week on Thursday night or last week, after a loss, they think, Oh, you just lost the game. Now you're making it all about you, which isn't what the outfits have ever been about. Cam is somebody who's been interested in fashion. And this is something he's put out on his YouTube channel.

He's talked about it for years. He's interested in fashion. And that doesn't necessarily make you a me guy if you want to wear something to the game and not bring two outfits. This is my winning outfit. This is my losing outfit. I got to get ready to try and win this game.

But if I don't win this game, I need to have a losing outfit that I wear. He celebrates success. Remember the Tennessee mom wrote the letter to the Charlotte Observer.

What am I supposed to tell my kids? There's this quarterback who's in the end zone celebrating. I have to cover my child's eyes at the at the mere thought that somebody might have fun playing this sport and celebrating their successes. Meanwhile, wait, what did Aaron Rodgers do?

What's the discount double check? Wait, Brett Favre was jumping into the stands at Lambeau Field? I'm not going to tell anyone how to parent, but maybe football games aren't the right place to write letters and say, what am I supposed to tell my kids with what happens in the end zone? He's not a taunting guy either. Like, I can get people being uncomfortable with a guy his size who looks different than anybody else, not just talking about color, but just the size Cam Newton, his height and weight. That guy being confident.

I get that. But he's not brash in the sense that he is combative, that he is taunting people. So why do we have this much of an issue with him and maybe not Rodgers or with Brett Favre when it comes to outfits? Did you see what Gardner Minshew was wearing Sunday?

Gardner Minshew wears this bright red suit and no one had an issue with that and the Jaguars lost a game. But Cam Newton is still a meme today. I'm getting tagged in things because you can see the back of my head putting my recorder on the mic stand, the podium there, as Cam went to speak. People are still making fun of Cam for the outfit. And they're saying that he's done another one of Feinbaum's point.

I don't really buy that either. This entire offseason, we were talking about Cam's shoulder. We were never talking about his foot. If his foot gets right, I don't think anybody thinks Cam Newton is not going to be a weapon in the red zone again. If his foot is right, then it'll remain to be seen what he could do throwing the football. So it's a little bit too early for that too. If he never gets back to elite level quarterback play, the Panthers will be set back for the next five years. And then maybe two years into that stretch, maybe Panther fans will finally say, yeah, maybe I was wrong about Cam.

Maybe I do want that guy playing quarterback for my team. Will Healy, Charlotte 49ers head football coach, getting set for Clemson, will join us a little bit later on this hour. The Drive broadcast live in the law offices of Timothy D. Wellborn Studios.

Learn about the ways Tim Wellborn can help you online at You'll know when you need us. Coming up, the single biggest thing that has held Tar Heel football back the last decade.

This is The Drive. Let's begin. Let's talk about it. Let's talk about it.

You're on The Drive with Josh Graham, the sports hub at AM 600, AM 920. Tar Heel safety Myles Dorn gave Brant Wilkerson-New of Heels-Maven a quote that I think sums up the demise of UNC football for the past decade, maybe even longer than that. North Carolina lost its first game of the year to Wake Forest last Friday. 24-18 they fought back.

It was a competitive game. But when asked about the Tar Heels mentality facing Wake Forest, Myles Dorn gave this quote. I think getting up for the teams that don't have much football culture is the biggest thing.

I don't think it will be hard no more. End quote. Entitlement has been the demise of North Carolina football. The idea that you can get set to face Wake Forest, which has won three consecutive bowl games. And you play for a North Carolina football team that's been 5-18 the last two years. For you to approach Wake Forest and say that's the program that doesn't have much football culture is absurd, but it perfectly fits what has limited the Tar Heels for such a long time. Anybody in coaching would tell you, anybody who knows college football would tell you, North Carolina has the most resources here in the state to have success. There's no reason why North Carolina should go 5-18 over a two year stretch. They usually get the best recruits.

It's the school most kids who live here want to go play. But they still haven't won anything. Wake Forest is a place that doesn't have much football culture. Oh wait a minute, North Carolina wins the last time you won an ACC football championship? Hmm, I'll listen.

I'll hang up and listen. Wake Forest won in 2006, three straight bowl winning season. Not much football culture. Same thing that a former Tar Heel running back told me when I was covering East Carolina football. The Pirates went in there and they beat North Carolina 55-30 in 2013. A running back said, yeah getting on the bus, we knew we weren't going to win that game. AJ Blue I think said this, we weren't ready. We overlooked East Carolina.

We weren't there mentally. They have the psychological advantage. We've heard these things and now it's happening to a degree with Appalachian State coming in. They're trying to tell Tar Heel players, hey don't overlook Appalachian State. We have the football culture.

We need to focus on teams that might not have the football culture even though they've won a lot more than we have. Players at North Carolina get complacent. And North Carolina has good players on its roster. Look at the backfield with Carter and Williams. North Carolina, aside from Clemson, you could argue has the best backfield in the ACC. You could make that argument. The folks at Boston College led by AJ Dillon would have something to say about that.

But at least it is a discussion. And North Carolina and Larry Fedora did not leave the cupboard bare when it came to talent. The reason Larry Fedora lacked success at a two-year stretch after having a terrific 2015 season was because the locker room checked out on those coaches. When they weren't having success, those players who were some of the top recruited players in the state, they pointed to the coaches and said, nah, well, it's them. It's not us. Like, we're good here. Those guys.

I don't know about them. So here comes Mack Brown after Larry Fedora gets bought out. And Max even said it. And I give Mack Brown a lot of credit. He said, Larry recruited good players for me. When he beat South Carolina, when he beat Miami. I got to give Larry Fedora a call and thank him for bringing in this type of talent to allow for me to have this type of success early on.

Paraphrasing, but that's essentially what he said. Max even acknowledged that one of the biggest challenges at North Carolina will be trying to teach a team how to handle success. It's an old adage that sometimes a pat on the back is more damaging than a slap in the face. And with North Carolina, you're 2-0. You beat Miami. You beat South Carolina. But then you get the newsflash when you're down 21 to nothing in Winston-Salem.

Hold up. Things are a little bit more difficult when you're playing on the road. Oh, and this Wake Forest team? Probably a lot better than this Miami and South Carolina team.

These teams that we played in the first two games. So North Carolina has to get it right. Saturday, 3.30 against Appalachian State. 336-777-1600.

If you want it on the show, you can tweet us. At Sports Hub Triad, Will Healy will join us in 10 minutes. He is Charlotte's football coach. The Charlotte 49ers are getting set for Clemson this Saturday, the number one team in the country.

Let's go to David in Catawba. We were talking about Cam Newton and what makes him so polarizing. And I'm getting a lot on our Twitter feed, at Sports Hub Triad, in response to that.

I think he's the most misunderstood athlete of this decade. Paul Feinbaum's out there saying that he's brought the Panthers organization down. That his career's over.

That he's never had interest in anything other than himself. David, what say you? How you doing, Josh?

Good to hear your voice. What's going on, man? Trying to get out of Winston here, man. Yeah, man, I got to help you pump the brakes on my man Feinbaum, man. Even me.

I heard that jumping in the car on the way to the house here. To say that Cam is any of those things, I don't see how you could possibly get that. I'm not the biggest Panther fan, but I'm definitely not anti-Cam Newton whatsoever. I think he's one of a kind. The likes of which we, if we ever see again, it ain't going to be anytime soon, I don't think.

And when you think of Carolina football, I think until they possibly win a Super Bowl and they have an elite quarterback maybe then, you're going to always think Cam Newton when you think Carolina. And the things that he's done around this area, Paul apparently has blinders on him. He's a great, great citizen of the city, much less the state. I think his better days are behind him.

That's neither here nor there. But for Paul to go that far, he's just, I don't know, it didn't really shock me to hear him go that deep into Cam. That was crazy. The funny thing with that, David, thanks for the call. When you said, I don't know if his better days are behind him, I didn't know if you were talking about Cam or Feinbaum. Feinbaum's the same guy who last month actually was asking the question, who would you rather start a program with today, Jimbo Fisher or Dabo Sweeney? Paul! John tweets in.

OK, so Josh Graham Radio just explained to Panther fans why they hate Cam Newton. One, he dresses different than others. Two, he celebrates success. Three, he's black. Yeah, I mean, that's pretty good listening comprehension there. He goes on.

I'm not sure if he could be more wrong about something. How about no one likes him because he's an awful quarterback? The guys won an MVP award. Look at the list of quarterbacks.

Aaron, I want you to do this for me right now if you've got a second. Aaron Gabriel on the other side of the glass, Desmond Johnson producing the show. Just give me the list of active MVP winners. Look at the list of MVP winners in the NFL.

Give me the active list of guys. And we'll see if that's true, that he's an awful quarterback. And also, if he is an awful quarterback. How come Sam Bradford isn't quite as polarizing as a former number one pick and Heisman Trophy winner? How come Matthew Stafford is a former number one pick is not nearly as polarizing? These guys have won how many playoff games combined between Matt Stafford and Sam Bradford?

How many? I wouldn't say many at all, huh? Cam Newton won an MVP award and went to the Super Bowl. Aaron, what's the list of MVP winners? Current active MVP winners Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Adrian Peterson, Cam Newton, Matt Ryan, Patrick Mahomes. How many of those guys look like Hall of Famers to you? Adrian Peterson, Hall of Famer? Every last one of them.

Pretty much all of them. Every one of you just said. Awful quarterback.

And if he was awful, maybe people want to talk about him as much. Matt Stafford and Sam Bradford not nearly as polarizing. Wally in Baltimore once in on the show. Wally in Baltimore. Where in Baltimore are you calling from? Pasadena? I am, well, right now I am actually heading in your direction.

We're driving to the Outer Bank. Oh, wow. All right, well, Wally, what do you got on Cam?

Well, here's what I got on Cam. I want your opinion. I just, you're talking about them having, a lot of people having venom about Cam. If he wins the 2015 Super Bowl against the Broncos, if he wins that game, is everything different? Do people look at him differently than what you're saying that people look at him?

It's an amazing thing, and I got a quick answer to that. Cam Newton doesn't have the postgame that he had, and he doesn't, and he does dive on that football. I feel like things would be different because people draw back on that, but it's more the result than anything else, I believe. People remember what you did in the biggest moment, and the Super Bowl gets ratings unlike anything else. So I do feel like perception would be different if they win that Super Bowl. But when people specifically say, oh, it's that one player, him leaving postgame, I don't buy that too much.

I just think that's the thing you remember most about the biggest stage he's been on. Real quickly, Scott in Archdale, what do you got on Cam Newton? Scott, you're on the Sports Hub.

Hey, what's going on, Josh? I appreciate your time, my friend. Yeah, no question.

What do you got? Hey, man, I just wanted to say, I think it's unfair to say that Cam is not our answer in Carolina because he is. I mean, he's been to a lot of adversity, and he's helped us win a lot of games. So, I mean, he's had some downfalls, he's had some injuries, but he does everything he can for not only the team but the community, man. Cam is inspiring. And I'm inspired by these answers. Makes me feel a little bit better about where Panther fans are with Cam Newton.

I'd say they're more positive than they are negative if I had to pick it out, but, man, it is still a pretty large contingent. A Panther fans who do not like Cam Newton, and I find that to be very interesting still. Ahead of his team's clash with Clemson, Charlotte 49ers coach Will Healy will join the show next. This is the Sports Hub.

At AM 600, AM 920. Now back to The Drive with Josh Graham. North Carolina's professional football team, the Carolina Panthers, still have some uncertainty at quarterback. We don't know if Cam Newton's going to play Sunday.

He did not practice for the second consecutive day. Panthers social media putting out a post just a few minutes ago with Kyle Allen, a big graphic of him saying, if I have to go in, I'll be ready. Ron Rivera says Allen will be the guy. If Cam is unable to go, it'll be Kyle Allen's second career start. The coach of Charlotte's college team now joins the show, Will Healy, who is getting set for the number one team in America this weekend. The Charlotte 49ers going on the road to face Dabo Sweeny's Clemson Tigers. And by the sound of it, coach, there are a lot of things going on in the city of Charlotte football-wise.

That's why I want to start at the most important thing possible. It is National Cheeseburger Day. What are the toppings that you put on your cheeseburger? Bacon, cheese, mustard, ketchup.

That's it. I'm a I'm a kid's meal type guy. What's the best burger you ever had?

Oh, that's a great question. I'm a big Five Guys fan now. Just chain restaurants. But there's a there's a place in Chattanooga, Tennessee called Tremont Tavern that's got an exceptional burger.

We will have to revisit this when we talk about fast food burgers, because five guys might be the top of the line. Will Healy with us here on the show. And since you're playing Clemson this weekend, what do you think in year one with the 49ers you can learn with a game like this? You know, I would say as much as anything, how do you guys respond to adversity? And which we've already had some. I mean, obviously, we went up and did enough. We did enough crazy things in the half game where we kept responding and we turned it over twice, had a pump blocked.

And, you know, it was we got a chance to see then that they would respond. Gave up an 87 yard touchdown on the first play the game, which is not how you draw it up. But I think more than anything, it's I don't know if there is a better environment in college football right now. It's the mecca of college football. It's the number one team in the country and they look like it already.

I mean, any time a team gets grief for beating Syracuse, what, 45 to 9 and says they look sloppy at the beginning is pretty daggone good. So, I mean, what happens? You're going to turn the lights on. You're going to be on national television. At some point in time, you're going to have a guy go up, make a play.

At some point in time, you're going to get popped and the crowd is going to go nuts. How do you respond? Do you keep competing or do you run and hide? And so I think it'll tell us a lot about where we are and how many competitors we really have on this football team. You're a really competitive guy.

We've learned that in past visits that we've had. And you're also somebody who doesn't mind having a little bit of swagger, it seems like. As somebody who turned around Austin Peay, which had the long losing streak all those years ago, since you put up 40 plus on Appalachian State, a pretty good football team, how confident are you in your offense to move the ball in what seems to be a completely different animal? I'm out of confidence, as Syracuse was when they rushed it 42 times for 15 yards. It's just like, what do you do?

They give you a bunch of different looks and they're really fundamentally sound. We're going to have to have some guys make some extraordinary plays. I think we've got a running back that's a really good player. And we've got to find a way to get the ball to him, whether it's in the backfield, whether it's out of the backfield. Throwing the ball to him, I think we've got a quarterback that's playing at a really high level right now. But things are going to happen faster, so we've got to make great decisions.

I mean, it will be tough. Every yard will be tough. I think there are so many different things that, like I was in a special teams meeting this morning, and we're watching some of the guys that are on their front line of kickoff return, and we're watching some of their guys that are on their punt teams, and it's their best players. I mean, it's first round draft picks out there on the front line of kickoff return.

There's so much that we can learn. How does their defense run in the football? How do they do on their special teams? How do their wide receivers block? They do it right, and it's really good film to show to our guys.

We obviously will have to have them give us some breaks, and we'll have to play exceptionally well to be able to stay in it. As an offensive coach and a former quarterback, what impresses you most about Trevor Lawrence? Well, I've known Trevor Lawrence for a long time. I recruited him, and that's a really, really loose term, whenever I was at Chattanooga and at Austin Peay. And I actually recruited the kicker we have here, Jonathan Cruz, a lot more. But we've signed some guys from Carter School. Obviously, Trevor was already like a four or five star, so he wasn't really interested in hanging out with me.

But we would always sit down and have conversations when I was there. You know, he's an exceptional person first. I think he's – people don't understand how athletic he is. You know, he looks like he's throwing seven on seven, and that's been since sophomore year on. I mean, he just stands back in the pocket. He's really comfortable. He can make any throw you want him to. And, you know, he's got that demeanor that you love. There's no situation that's too big for him. So I think he's a number one pick in the draft. I think that's how good he is.

So it'll be fun to watch him play. He's an exceptional person. I got a chance to – David Scott, who works for the Charlotte Observer, was talking to him this week while he was in our office. And I said, let me see that phone. And I got on the phone and I said, Trevor, this is Will Healy with NCAA.

I'd just like for you to know we are reviewing one of your math courses and you're going to have to sit out this week. And he said you hadn't changed a bit. So he's an awesome, awesome player and it'll be good to see him. Best hair in college football?

Without a doubt. Now, our director of football ops thinks he does, but it's not close to Trevor's. Sunshine wishes he had hair like Trevor Lawrence. Will Healy is with us here. He is Charlotte's head football coach on Twitter.

At Coach underscore Heals, you can follow him, his Charlotte 49ers getting set for Clemson later this week. I saw last week I was at the Panthers Buccaneers game that you were also in attendance last Thursday night. How long did you stick around for that one? I left at halftime. We had practice the next morning and we stayed through the rain delay and ended up leaving right at the beginning of the third quarter. I got a chance to give my little guy a hug and a kiss and then we had meetings, you know, the next morning at 6.30. So I stayed for a while and pulled him for him and I texted back and forth with Coach Rivera a couple times just about how good he's been to me and how supportive I am. I hated him. I can say we, I guess, because I'm a bandwagon guy.

There's no question about it. It's not like I grew up a Panthers fan, but I'm a huge supporter of the Panthers now and it was a tough one that we lost the other night. What do you think Ron Rivera is dealing with this week as he knows he has a quarterback who's been missing practice? He doesn't want to rule him out completely just on the off chance he's able to go tomorrow or Friday. Meanwhile, you have a quarterback who doesn't have as much experience that you want to make sure is ready for Sunday.

How do you kind of balance that as a coach, you think? Well, I would say that he probably got a little bit of experience with that last year and I don't know this. I've never talked to him about it, but, you know, as much as Cam was missing practice a year ago, it's probably similar to what it was like then. You know, from what I've heard and read and everything, you know, Cam would only practice on maybe Friday of a game week last year. So I'm sure he was always having to get another guy ready and if Cam got to play, it was kind of icing on the cake.

If not, then he was getting the other guy the reps for the week. So I would say Cam's played enough football where you may have to keep knocking some rust off, but he's going to know what to do and be ready to play. Do you have the Philly special Wildcat fake handoff in your playbook? First play of the game. We're running it. I'm going to hold you to that.

Go big or go home. You know, one of the things that I've kind of learned along the way, I guess, because I've been, I feel like 45-point underdogs in probably 80% of the college games. I've been the head coach, so they just say stuff about me.

But if you practice too much of that stuff, you know, you get 85,000 people screaming at you and you try to do all this trickeration. You know, I'm just making sure our guys calm down enough where we can stay onsides and listen to snap count and complete some passes and hand the football off. I don't know how good the old Philly special would look on the first play. It is Will Healy, who once upon a time was Dave Clossett's quarterback at Richmond, way back then.

That's a loose term too, by the way. A quarterback for Dave Clossett. Yes, I was not, I was never the quarterback for Dave Clossett. My nickname was Roy, rest of y'all. So, if that tells you where I was on Dave Clossett's depth chart.

I think he actually agrees with you with that. Dave Clossett, you had an impression of him. You said last time you were with us. Every single time you join us now, I'm going to ask to see if you're feeling confident enough or if you're in the mood to give us a Dave Clossett impression. Now that he's 3-0. The guy's 3-0, I'm not messing with him. He's doing a heck of a job and I pull for him all the time. The impression I would like to make if Dave calls him and the impersonation I would like to make is by winning as many games as he's winning.

So, he's definitely off the hook at 3-0. Coach, we're wishing you the best of luck. It's been a lot of fun. We'll chat sometime soon. Let's do it. Thanks guys.

Appreciate you. That's Charlotte football coach Will Healy on Twitter. Coach underscore Heales.

I mean, when we had Mike Houston on, Dez, it just sounded different when he's telling us outwardly to bet on a game. Put some money on it. Will Healy's telling us, yeah, first play of the game. First play of the game. We're going to run the fake Philly special direct snap handoff that did not work for the Carolina Panthers on Thursday night. Now, the cool thing would be if he actually does run that play, first play of the game.

That's right. Then we'll have it. It'll become a cut just like Mike Houston here.

Put some money on it. The Carolina Panthers priorities I think should be only one thing for this season. And it's not the postseason. That's next on The Drive. OK, here we go.

This is the Sports Hub at AM 600 AM 920. Now back to The Drive with Josh Graham. My mentions are just full of people who claim to be Carolina Panther fans who are just done with Cam Newton. He's so polarizing nationally, but locally, you would think fans would get behind their quarterback. But there is a large faction of people. I don't want to say it's the majority of people because, you know, people who are mad are generally louder on the Internet. But seeing a lot of Cam Newton hate today, Des is telling me that there are people on the line who are calling it who just want to tell you something to tell me.

What do you have to say to those people? Please stop. If you're going to call, don't be scared. Josh is not going to bite you. He's not going to cuss you out on air.

I might bite you and I might cuss you out. But don't be scared of him. If you want to say something to him, we're here for you, Triad. So when you call in, don't spend three minutes telling me what to tell him in a relay.

Just wait on hold. I'll get you on the air and then you could tell Josh whatever and he'll take it. And I might bite and I might curse him. He might. Ed Harden, I don't think bites.

He is on Twitter at Ed underscore Harden, award winning columnist from the Greensboro News and Record. Ed, what do you believe the source of this large faction of people's disdain with Cam Newton to be? Oh, boy, I think it runs pretty deep. I think I think there's a large segment of people who are embarrassed by him. He's making us look bad.

That type of thing. I think there's a large segment of people who kind of are kicking themselves for allowing themselves to believe in him. And now they feel that he's let them down. I mean, I just think there's there's a real deep reaction going on that we're seeing. And you're right. It's definitely out there. And it's really kind of ugly.

What chance? He's always been that guy. He has. It's genuine. And I always find it interesting when people are fixated on the outfits and fixated on the towel on his head, fixated. Even when you look at the way he celebrates in a way that we've seen other quarterbacks celebrate before Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre, for example. But when it comes to Cam Newton, it seems like the the spotlight and the criticism is as sharp as it can be. I absolutely it is. And I'm sure there's a racial quality to it.

So I'm convinced that there is there always has been. And when he was riding the crest and he was the most popular player in the NFL, the actual face of the NFL in 2015, the best player in the NFL, the most exciting player, the most engaging player. And now we're watching a slow train wreck.

And I just don't think people can they just can't make sense of it, especially those that, you know, that let themselves fall for him. Now they're kicking themselves and blaming him. Ed Hardin with us here from the Greensboro News and Records. So if you start looking ahead and a lot of people are, Cam Newton has this year, he has next year left on his contract. If the Panthers wanted to part ways with Cam, they could save 19 million dollars with only two million dollars in dead money if they were to release him as early as next season. What percentage chance would you give the Panthers of cutting Cam versus signing him to an extension?

Goodness gracious, I don't see an extension in his future. So I would say it's pretty close to 50-50 right now, depending on how he recovers from current injuries and apparently more injuries to come, because that's that's really what we're seeing. We're seeing a man's body breakdown and we're watching a quarterback who has been exposed, maybe as no quarterback has in the modern era, where the league has allowed defenders to come at him and just hammering. No other quarterback's been through as much.

And I think we're I think we're seeing the end of Cam's career when it should be the prime of his career. It's crazy what you're describing, though, Ed, because that's the same way I felt about Andrew Luck when he retires, the injuries he sustained. It's not like basketball when you're talking about light ligament tears, you're talking about soft tissue injuries.

That's the way it's described. The injuries that he sustained, bleeding kidney, talking about ribs being broken. These are car accident injuries, not necessarily ones you associate with sports that often other than football here. If what does it say about football? If in a position they're trying to protect more than any other quarterback, that the rules haven't been able to protect two of the most prodigious quarterbacks we've seen enter the league in Luck and Cam Newton. Yeah, I think it says something.

I'm not sure why. I mean, I'm not sure they're the same quarterback. And I think there were different circumstances. But just in terms of Newton, he's so exposed, and of course he was, he's not running anymore now, but there was never a quarterback like him in our time. A guy that was bigger than the linebackers, as big as defensive linemen in some cases. And the Panthers turned him loose.

And the league couldn't protect him in a sense, but wouldn't protect him when it had a chance. And you're right, he's gotten slower, he's become more injury prone, and I don't see it turning around. Are you surprised the Panthers are going to be going into a game Sunday, in all likelihood, with Kyle Allen as their starting quarterback? Well, we're right back where we ended last season. It's like, here they go again. I'm a little surprised. I'm quite stunned that they didn't go after Colin Kaepernick, quite frankly. I really thought bringing in Eric Reid was a precursor to Tepper, telling his fan base and telling the league that, hey, I'm doing this, it's for my team.

It has nothing to do with anything else. So here they are in a situation where they have to play with Kyle Allen. And the backup now is Will Greer. You know, they got themselves into the situation and they never thought in a million years it would happen this quickly. But they knew in the back of their mind that they had to survive this year with Cam and then replan next year, probably with new people running the operation. There are people who are already looking at it saying, oh, Colin Kaepernick wouldn't accept a contract with the Panthers to be a backup when Cam gets healthy.

They couldn't afford him, all that stuff. I don't even think he's been contacted by the Carolina Panthers. Eric Reid would have said so earlier this week. But do you think, let's just say for hypothetical sense, that the Panthers do sign Colin Kaepernick? I get that they signed Eric Reid last year, but are we talking about the same thing when Colin Kaepernick gets signed and what that reaction is going to look like versus Eric Reid's reaction?

Oh, goodness, no, no. It would not go over well in Charlotte and North and South Carolina and anywhere in the league. I mean, it was just it would not go over well. And I think Tepper's probably convinced himself of that. I'm not so sure they haven't been in contact.

I think it's probably the other way around. The agent's been contacting all of these teams that need quarterbacks and has been now for a couple of weeks. So I'm certain the conversation has happened, but I think most people around the league have now convinced themselves that he's been out too long. It would be too much of a transition to get the rust knocked off and to get him into a system, a program.

I think his time has passed, but I am stunned they at least consider it. There's not another quarterback out there that has the same skill set as Cam Newton. The closest one is Colin Kaepernick. So if you're you know, now you're changing your team entirely by going to Kyle Allen. If you bring in a running quarterback, quarterback with some size, quarterback that can slow the defense down with some one pass option. That's one thing, but you don't have that anymore.

You could argue that you didn't have it with Cam anymore, but you certainly don't have it now. To those people who say that he's hadn't had enough playing time at this point, I'll just bring this stat and leave it here. At the start of the season, there were forty six backup quarterbacks on NFL rosters. Twenty of those quarterbacks have never started an NFL game and half of those quarterbacks, ten, have never thrown an NFL pass in a game. Ed Hardin with us from the Greensboro News and Record.

Let's get to a couple of quick hitters here. Mike Leach, he was speaking about Pac-12 mascots who would win a battle royale between all the Pac-12 mascots. So we started thinking about ACC mascot battle royale. And we came down to the Miami Hurricanes, the Clemson Tigers, and we don't quite know what a Blue Devil or a Demon Deacon possesses. But I think in Mike Leach's terms, he said they need to get the Harry Potter activist out there to try and figure out where a Blue Devil is capable. Mike Leach, everybody out. Having grown up Southern Baptist, you don't mess with Deacons.

You don't mess with that. I was down to Wake in Miami. National Cheeseburger Day. The best burger that Ed Hardin ever had was at Weyer. Other than my backyard, I'll make a pretty mean cheeseburger. I'd have to say Zach's in Charlotte. Zach's in Charlotte. Never been there.

Go there. Mike noted the last catch you had out on a fishing pond, lake, or any body of water was where? Oak Island, Ocean Crest Pier. Two weeks ago, I was catching stingrays left and right. Big ones. What do you do when you catch a stingray? You hope that he shakes the hook off himself. If he's big enough, you can drop a net down and pull him up.

I mean, they keep records for things like that, but when they get to be the size of Buicks, you generally cut them off and let them swim away. Ed, you're the absolute best, man. I'll see you sometime soon. Take care, Josh. Got it. That's Ed Hardin on Twitter. Ed underscore Hardin.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-10 11:10:27 / 2023-02-10 11:28:06 / 18

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