Former Ravens coach Brian Billick has coached some strong personalities during his NFL career, from Cris Carter to Ray Lewis. But that doesn’t mean that the recent comments from Cam Newton did not raise a red flag.
Billick was peppered with Newton questions during his most recent NFL.com chat, including how he dealt with some big egos during his time in the league.
“A player having confidence never concerned me,” Billick said. “It takes conviction and passion to play this game. However, coming from a Cam Newton, with all of the issues that have surrounded him at Florida and Auburn, and the questions coming into this league. I find the comments very disturbing and they put a big red flag up to this young man’s ability to perform in the NFL. I have major, major questions about Cam Newton.”
But as one reader from the Bahamas pointed out, don’t all players have some sort of question mark? Is it fair to single out Newton in this instance?
“There is no question that as a staff and a coach you have to have some sense of any athlete drafted high in the NFL will handle all that goes along with being a high pick,” Billick said. “The pressures to play and produce. The emotional transition from college to pro. Finding yourself in a major metropolitan area. And dealing with all of the outside pressures with being in the NFL. All of it. …
“When you look at some of the actions of Cam Newton at the end of the season — the workout for the media, the comment about being an icon and entertainer — it shows me a lack of understanding on his part what that transition to the NFL is going to be about. And these actions show me that he has surrounded himself with people with questionable judgment.”
You can view the entire chat here, including the question, whom coach Billick would take between Tim Tebow and Newton.