Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com reports coach Marvin Lewis is saying all the right things about Auburn QB Cam Newton despite the heat the former Auburn quarterback getting from the national media ever since last season when the story broke his father tried to sell him to Mississippi State. Just in the last week Kiper questioned Newton’s work ethic while Pro Football Weekly said teams are worried about his “fake smile” and sincerity.
Knowing that this is the season for smoke and mirrors, let it be known it was reported this week (but not confirmed by Lewis) that the Bengals worked out Newton on site. But Lewis was enthusiastic about Newton’s improvement since a bad throwing day at the NFL scouting combine.
“He’s a real fine NFL prospect,” said Lewis, who witnessed Newton’s impressive Pro Day last month. “He’s got a great, great personality. Magnetic.”
Lewis smiled when asked about the scrutiny Newton is facing for that personality. He says the “It” factor a franchise quarterback must have is very much in the club’s minds in this process.
“He’s got it. He’s got it. Whoever said that wished they had it,” Lewis said. “It’s really important when you’re talking about evaluating the quarterback position that they have that. That they’re that kind of guy. You’ve got be a guy that is standup, ready to take control kind of guy. Whether you’re talking about the football team, whether you’re talking about the city. Talking about a lot of stuff. The good thing is that all these kids this year have been that.
“In Cam’s case, he’s been ‘it’ three times,” Lewis said of Newton’s collegiate journeys. “He went to Gainesville that way with that kind of fanfare. He went to Blinn Junior College where he had to slink down as low as he could go. He came out of it that way and went to Auburn that way. Now he comes into the NFL. He’s kind of had that ‘it,’ been that kind of guy for awhile.”
“He’s gone through some adversity that’s been created around him,” Lewis said. “Some self-inflicted at times. Probably some inflicted by the environment around him at times. Some made up, probably. But whatever it is, he’s been successful. He shoulders responsibilities and he’s done well with it.”