Everything about Cam Newton’s media session was different.
His arrival was announced well before he got there. There was a sound check and the crowd swelled to unmanageable levels. He was escorted to the stage and introduced by NFL Draft legend Gil Brandt.
And that was all before Newton even opened his mouth with another moment that showed he was unique.
Newton started the session with a written opening statement, addressing his recent “entertainer and icon” quote.
“First and foremost I understand that my obligation is to be the best possible football player that I can be. I know and believe that.”
Newton explained that the comments came when his new endorsement was announced.
“I was making the point that I want to be the best possible ambassador for them just like I want to be the best possible ambassador for whatever team I am lucky enough to play for.”
The statement was ultimately unnecessary and the least compelling part of the press conference. Newton was engaging, answered every question directly, and accepted blame for his comments. He managed to be humble, charismatic, and jumped into the third person all at the same time. (In short, he sounded like a star. )
Newton’s ability to charm the media shouldn’t change his draft stock, but we don’t think that the pressure of being a high draft pick will be a problem for him like it was for other quarterbacks.
Put it this way: Team Newton should be very happy that he took the podium right after Ryan Mallett.