INDIANAPOLIS — Auburn QB Cam Newton‘s tractor-beam effect on the media at the NFL Scouting Combine continued Sunday as he was the center of attention during on-field drills before appearing on “NFL Total Access” to discuss his performance.
The 2010 Heisman Trophy winner sat down with Rich Eisen, Mike Mayock and Marshall Faulk and acknowledged moments of frustration during his combine workout, in which he overthrew some receivers.
“I underestimated the timing aspect of playing quarterback,” Newton said. “You had receivers from the SEC, the SWAC, the MAC. … I was somewhat frustrated, but at the same time, I was having fun out there.”
Newton did have his highlights, tying Washington’s Jake Locker for the third-fastest 40-yard dash time (4.59 seconds) and tying for the best broad jump (10 feet, 6 inches). The 6-foot-5, 248-pound QB also had a 35-inch vertical jump.
Newton told Faulk he wants to show more consistency — and master his back-peddling — during Auburn’s pro day March 8.
Mayock asked Newton about his tendency to evacuate the pocket and run while operating Auburn’s spread offense.
“I chose Auburn University,” Newton said. “… I was going to try to be the best I could be in that system.”
Newton again was asked to address radioactive comments in which he described himself as an “icon.” He emphasized that it was endorsement-related.
“My response (to Sport Illustrated‘s Peter King) was, I view myself as that due to the fact that I’m not only going to just be selling football cleats, I’m going to be selling lifestyle apparel — everything else,” he said. “I could have picked way more (different) words to express what I really wanted to say.
“I want to personally apologize to everybody who was offended about it.” Newton said, adding: “I never had the type of arrogance to say anything like that, but I think it was portrayed as if I was an arrogant guy.
“Because going through this whole week, it was a reality check for so many people, and I’m startled with myself. Here I am, a good athlete, going into the NFL just like these other guys.”
Newton — who listed his support group as his parents, his agents and his marketing firm — acknowledged that he has been told in meetings this week that “the NFL doesn’t need you,” not to disparage the young star, but to help him adjust to what lies ahead.
– Marc Sessler