By standards applicable to other quarterbacks, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton didn’t have a horrible night in Super Bowl 50. By Newton’s standards, he did.
The goal, as Broncos linebacker DeMarcus Ware explained on Monday’s PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio, was to make the Panthers one dimensional by taking away their ability to run the ball. But that doesn’t account for the lack of scrambles from Newton, who was sacked six times and repeatedly fought to throw the ball away.
“He had to get the ball down the field,” Ware said of Newton’s decision to take off sparingly, “he had to score points.”
Ware added the Broncos defense was able to get inside Newton’s head. Physically, they also were able to match him.
“It’s hard to beat us with his feet because we have a lot of fast guys like me and Von [Miller] and [Derek] Wolfe and Malik [Jackson],” Ware said. “And we made sure we kept the pocket tight so he couldn’t get out and run.”
Speaking of Jackson, Ware emphasized the importance of not letting him get away in free agency.
“The game is won in the trenches,” Ware said. “And just him, Derek Wolfe, . . . [those] two guys if you’re doing 3-4 or 4-3 they’re dominant and they make plays especially with [nose tackle] Sylvester [Williams] in the middle. I mean, all of those guys just giving them kudos. That’s the reason why we’ve been able to do so much.”
The salary cap will prevent the Broncos from doing as much as they’d like when it comes to keeping free agency, and Jackson could be one of the ones who gets away — especially as other teams become willing to pay a premium in order to both bring a Super Bowl champion to town and to partially dismantle the most recent champion.
To hear the full spot from Ware, check out the podcast from Monday’s edition of PFT Live, the first one that launched at 6:00 a.m. ET.