Mayock on Cam Newton: “I don’t know how great he wants to be”


NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock is one of the folks not entirely convinced the Panthers will select Cam Newton Thursday night.  They could trade down or take a defensive player at No. 1.

If Carolina does take him, Mayock worries about Newton’s drive.

“It’s just this gut feeling I have: I don’t know how great he wants to be,” Mayock said on the Dan Patrick Show Monday.  “He’s got all the tools. Mechanically, he’s way beyond where Tim Tebow and Vince Young were as college quarterbacks. . . . He’s got everything on the physical side.”

Mayock just isn’t convinced Newton’s drive to be the best quarterback in the game.

“Something tells me that he’ll be content to be a multimillionaire who’s pretty good,” Mayock said.  “And doesn’t get it done for me.”

While admitting Newton has handled the pre-draft process well, it’s telling that a final evaluation of Newton (and others) often comes down to a gut feeling, even for the best draft analysts and decision makers.  And Mayock just isn’t feeling Newton.

“I think the kid is smart enough.  I just don’t know if he cares enough,” Mayock said.  “And I don’t know how you qualify that either.  The kid has done everything right.”

56 responses to “Mayock on Cam Newton: “I don’t know how great he wants to be”

  1. lol at all these analysts who think they know exactly what is going on in another person’s head. All this speculation is total garbage at this point. The truth is, the only person who knows what’s going on in Cam Newton’s mind is Cam Newton.

  2. JaMarcus Russell, and Ryan Leaf really are to blame for all this scrutiny. Not saying that Cam shouldn’t be looked at closely, but had either of those two been succsessful, I don’t think Cam would be getting this bad press for so long.
    Maybe it is just the way the focus is on the draft now though and I am wrong.

  3. What is this “gut feeling” based on? Has Mayock sat down with him? I’m only assuming that its culled from what he’s hearing via sources. But let’s get some facts straight:

    He’s already won 2 national championships if you count JuCo, and the championship he won last year was achieved under what could only be considered genuine duress. He was nothing but great at the collegiate level – of course nobody knows how he will pan out in the NFL – same with all prospects, but all of the available evidence does is absolutely contrary to these notions of “doesn’t have the drive or determination to succeed.” In fact, the amount of skepticism poured on Newton might be all the motivation he ever needs to work as hard as he’s ever worked to succeed.

    I don’t know, clearly this is all conjecture, but I think some folks are starting to navel gaze instead of looking at the tape and rattling off the accomplishments. It’s too bad we don’t have free agency to talk about – all of this draft analysis is beginning to feel like overload.

  4. Kinda sad that the guy can say all the right things and people STILL doubt him. It’s not enough that his film suggests he can succeed at any level. It’s not enough that in just a few short weeks, the guy has mastered the 3/5/7 step drop after not having to do it most of his career. It’s not enough to go the chalkboard and show you know what you’re talking about. No matter what, it just wont be enough. Even though Cam Newton has navigated the process about as well as can be done, it will NEVER be enough for Mike Mayock.

  5. Everyone is so upset about the evaluations of Newton that come out. Crying about whatevet they can think of to invalidate that opinion. Have you considered that maybe these are the evaluations…because they are right?
    You can not like the evaluations as much as you want, but there is a good chance they are accurate.

  6. He said the same thing about Jamarcus:

    “The only thing that’s going to keep [Russell] from being great is him. What it comes down to is you’ve got to figure out whether or not this kid wants to be the best quarterback in football.”

  7. Newton is going to be a bust, especially if he goes number 1 (bust being an absolute term and relative as relates to being over all top pick). He needs someone to take him and sit him for a couple of years while he learns. aka Rogers. But that will not happen with the Panthers. He’ll be forced in and will collapse under the weight.

  8. He does have a point, guys who just leave college to get paid don’t necessarily want to be the best, they just want to get paid.

    The question is really whether or not Cam Newton just wants both very bad or if he becomes JaMarcus 2.0.

    JaMarcus and his “father” taking money at Auburn are really the main concerns people have about him, fair or unfair.

  9. After watching Cam on Gruden’s QB show I agree with Mayock. I didn’t see alot of heart in some of his answers, more like he was saying just what everyone wants to hear.

  10. Mike Mayock is one of (if not the) best fball analysts in the media today. He is entitled to his opinions on a guy and I won’t fault him for that. In watching Cam play and on TV, I have never questioned his desire to be great, but I don’t get the opportunity to interview him myself or talk to people in the league that do. I trust Mayock, but from my limited perspective, I disagree.

  11. I have the same gut feeling about Newton. He doesn’t seem to be a genuine competitor and leader, and I don’t see an NFL franchise rallying around this guy at all. Some players perform on the field as if they perpetually have something to prove to EVERYONE, especially themselves. After seeing all that money, I can’t help but feel like this kid is going to be “Complacent Cam” when he realizes everyone is looking at him to pull the Panthers out of the cellar of the NFL. I also anticipate this kid to shy away from taking the blame for his team’s record, as any QB should do, instead deflecting the blame on others. This kid should drop like a rock in this draft, but he won’t, Carolina needs some type of buzz to put some more butts in the seats.

  12. I think it’s a valid concern that Mayock has. Probably the only thing that would hold Newton back from being successful in the pros is if he doesn’t have a good work ethic. Because he’s going to have to work 10 times harder now and not just get by on athleticism.

  13. This is PSYCOLOGY 101:

    After 9/11, every Arab or Muslim person will/have been questioned to see if they are a terrorist or not. They might work for the CIA, FBI, Marine Corps, and still their love for the United States will be questioned.

    After Michael Vick got his big contract and went to jail, and JaMarcus Russell’s big contract and he started not to care about football anymore, messed it up for every young black quarterback that is/will be coming out because no one wants the Michael Vicks or the JaMarcus Russells. Is it fair? No.

    It is up to Cam Newton to decide what type of player he is going to be. Not the analyst that hates him, nor the analyst that loves him.

    IMO, Cam Newton is too arrogant to settle to be “average”, he is as arrogant as Barry Bonds and I think he’ll strive to be the greatest.

  14. mybuttsayspft says:
    Apr 25, 2011 11:52 AM
    Nobody wants to say it but that “gut feeling” is because he’s black and odds say he will be content on just being a millionaire.

    STFU. You are stupid and so is McSham. Lets see Matt Leinhart, Joey Harrington, Alex Smith, David Carr, Ryan Leaf, Tim Couch, Cade McNown, JP Losman…….What do you say about their desire after they became instant millionaires?

  15. Its a shame that Mr. Mayock, who is highly respected in the draft circles, has come to this point.

    Interviews with his college coaches don’t reveal this laziness, interviews with teammates tell that he is the first player in and the last player out, and the fact that he won the starting job over a 5th year senior who was an Elite 11 player coming out of high school aren’t enough.

    It all comes down to a “gut feeling”. There isn’t any past anecdotal evidence to support his stance, just a gut feeling.

    Thats the perfect way to sum up the Cam Newton pre-draft bashing.

  16. This just solidifies my theory that everyone knows Newton will go number 1 overall and that all of these pundits are trying to do all they can to instill in this kid that he has an opportunity to be great if he’s willing to work at it. The NFL can’t have a repeat Jamarcus Russell but I personally think Newton is far from Russell. You can say what you want about Cecil but at least he’s in his kids life and wants the best for his son. The Money issue vanishes this week.

  17. Why did I not hear until tonight how few passes this guy has thrown? That worries me more than anything else I’ve heard, and the Panthers are my home team. I hope they pick someone else just so I can hear everybody go batspit crazy about it.

    As a Panther fan, Newton or no Newton, I hope all 17 games get locked out. That way we won’t get embarrassed again. Wait, wrong verb. Humiliated. Yeah, that’s it. Easier to spell too.

  18. “I think the kid is smart enough. I just don’t know if he cares enough,” Mayock said. ”And I don’t know how you qualify that either. The kid has done everything right.”


    This translates to there is nothing the kid could do to assuage your “gut feelings.” Says a lot more about Mayock than it does about Newton.

  19. Mayock is right on. Cam is more interested in being a star than a NFL QB. After watching the Gruden camp, I wouldn’t touch this guy before the 4th round. He’s so concerned with his image and it’s detrimental.

  20. Ballsy call by Mayock. I think he’s the best analyst in the business. I have no opinion on Cam, but Mayock has a history of making very good (and ballsy) calls. Gutsy of him to swim against the tide.

    And yeah, a lot of time is does come down to “gut” – something that can’t be quantified. Just looking a measurables only gets you so far, and often in the wrong direction. I don’t know if Mayock will be right or not, but I admire his courage for taking a stance outside of the mainstream.

  21. It is funny that Mike does not question all of the quarterbacks desire the same way he questions Newton.

  22. jadaniels says:
    Apr 25, 2011 11:54 AM
    Yes, he won 2 championships, he was an elite athlete in comparison to the talent against him. Lets see if he can duplicate his success when he is an elite talent when playing against elite talent week in and week out. Drive and determination he had when in college, will he have the drive and determination when he can’t rely soley on his athletism. I hope he turns out great, but you can hope in one hand and crap in the other and see which fills up first.

  23. I like mike mayock but who cares what you think. He just dominate the best conference in college football. You don’t know what’s in the mid of any of these players. This analysis stuff goes too far. What are mayocka qualifications anyway. I wish I had a job where I could just make stuff up, guess peoples character that I don’t even know and not even work in the field. I’m tired of hearing about all these draftees. I hope newton and mallet turn out to be all-stars to shut up all these stupid overblown character concerns. By the way, football is entertainment so why is it such a big deal that e said he wants to be an entertainer. An icon is someone who’s accomplished so much its almost legendary. So what’s wrong with the icon statement?

  24. He has all of the tools. He fast and quick. He has the million dollar smile. He has all of the answers that he’s ssupposed to except for he’s NOT a football person. Gruden exposed him greatly. He’s not someone you’re going to be able to sit down with in a film room and chop up game film. Not everyone is going to be Peyton Manning, but if I’m going to use a coveted #1 overall pick he’d better have EVERYTHING, not just a lot of intagibles and a good upside.

  25. I agree with Mayock except for the smart enough part…to be able to play QB at an elite level in the NFL, you have to be able to make lightning-quick decisions on the field and analyze/memorize schemes and playbooks off it, could be wrong but from what I’ve seen in his conferences/interview/camp Gruden, and given his low wonderlic (21), I just don’t see him having the hardware upstairs to be able to beat NFL defenses on a regular basis

  26. I don’t know why everyone’s so worked up over this. Cam will be a star or a scrub regardless based on what he does, not on what Mayock says. The problem is nobody knows if he’s willing to work hard. He’s never had to. That’s the problem with being so physically talented… he’s been able to succeed without hard work so far. Unfortunately for teams thinking about picking him, they have to make a guess at a wild unknown. If they guess wrong it could destroy their franchise.

  27. The gut feeling isn’t about race – it’s about that whole getting-paid-to-play mess that got wrapped up a little too quickly and a little too cleanly. Maybe the gut feeling is different if your helicopter dad isn’t shopping you around in college.

  28. parkerfly says:
    Apr 25, 2011 12:25 PM
    I think it’s a valid concern that Mayock has. Probably the only thing that would hold Newton back from being successful in the pros is if he doesn’t have a good work ethic.

    Another Stupid statement, you can say that about 100% of the players in the draft. What is this dumb Monday?

  29. I would not take Newton #1. He may end up being a great QB, but he is too much of a project to take with #1 pick. You can blame Russell for this, but it is too risky to take a QB #1 unless he is already NFL ready like Manning was.

  30. Being better than Tebow and Young isn’t exactly setting the bar at ‘excellent’. Just sayin’

  31. Its doesn’t take a genius to figure out Cam Newton is only looking for a big pay day. If he truly cared about becoming a great NFL QB he would have stayed at Auburn for another year. He clearly isn’t ready for the pros.

  32. The “gut feeling” I get from Newton is nausea. Theif, liar, con artist, and primary psychopath. Built with performance enhancing drugs. The only question is Nauseous Newton or Noxious Newton?

  33. I think those that say Newton is lazy or didn’t have to work hard becasue he is so physically gifted are nuts. I ‘ve not heard or read of one person in Cam’s past not saying great things about his work ethic. They also say his leadership skills are terrific.

    Mayock concedes all that, but still can’t get away from the feeling that Newton doesn’t have the it factor to make him great.

    I think Newton was a tremedous college quarterback. Similar to Mike Vick at VT, it seemed that Newton could single-handedly take over a game…and that is saying something in the SEC.

    Now comes the but… Newton threw a very small number of passes in major college football compared to other players considered to teir quarterbacks. That gives the scouts less chance to see how his game translates to the NFL. One recent article mentioned a NFL GM who said that from the offense Newton ran in college, only about 30% of the type of passes he threw at Auburn would translate to the NFL. That makes the percentage of plays that scouts can evaluate even less. AND, the fact that Newton had an extremely simplistic playbook (coaches held up signs with colors and numbers for everyone to see and that was the play).

    I think Newton has all the gifts it takes to be an excellent NFL qb. Maybe someone who could change the position forever, but he needs to sit…for 2 or 3 years. Making him the #1 pick and the “saviour” of a franchise is going to be his ruin. His physical skills are not going to give him the huge advantage he had in college. I hope the best for Cam, but I am not expecting him to be great, due to being picked so early in the draft.

  34. I just a clip of the Gruden interview and Cam Newton could not recite a play — out loud — from the Auburn playbook. Not one play. In fact, he told Gruden he was “…kinda putting me on the spot”. Really? Really.

    It has nothing to do with black. It has to do with busts before him and if he’ll be a bust too.

    You make a bad pick at #1 and usually the coach is fired when you’re picking at #1 again.

  35. jimr10 says: Apr 25, 2011 12:58 PM

    It is funny that Mike does not question all of the quarterbacks desire the same way he questions Newton.
    I just watched that interview with Mayock on DP on replay on tv and to me Mayock was more doubtful of Mallet than he was of Newton. He said Mallet off the field “scares the crap put of him”. He also said things like if Newton stole a laptop doesn’t concern him.

    In watching the 4 QBs on Gruden’s shows, here’s what Newton did that concerned me:
    When they were all asked to go to the whiteboard and draw up a play, each of the other guys explained in detail the concepts, what to do if there was single high safety, how routes convert, what each player who was a receiving option should be doing etc. Newton started out with a detailed description of why he comes out from under center the way he does in an unbalanced line and the MECHANICS of RUNNING the play more than the concepts behind it or what to do if the first read he describes (“if I look up and the safety is looking at me I throw it”) isn’t there. I think it’s important for QBs to know the concepts behind plays instead of just memorizing your own role in a play which is what it sounded like Newton was doing.

    The second issue was when Gruden asked Newton about his defiance of coach’s orders on that goalline play. Newton says YOU HAVE TO HELP ME OUT HERE COACH and goes on to describe how the fact he is a competitor and wanted to win right there. I’ll tell you this much Mr Newton, you have a coach like Belichick or some other old school guy and you deliberately defy what he wants you to do on a play your butt is ON THE BENCH. Period. To me that speaks to coachability, which is vital and which it appears he is lacking.

    The third issue was I don’t like how he talks about himself in the third person and is so concerned with “sawgger” and wanting to copyright the phrase he said about it when he was in his throwing session with Gruden. I want a QB who is about CAKE not ICING.

    To me, Cam has the personality of a WR or CB (the two other positions obsessed with “swagger”) not a QB but time will tell. I told a Steelers fan in my family that BR didn’t have a QB personality either (I said he had a TE personality) and he’s played in 3 SBs with 2 rings. 😀

  36. Since so many are playing the race card, can I also call Mayock a commie? I notice he talks a a lot about working as a team. If that isn’t Marxist, what is?!?

    And he’s a Nazi too…

    Folks here get real personal about a guy’s opinion. I like Mayock and have always found him to be very knowledgeable. To say there are no red flags on Newton’s work ethic is a joke. There have been plenty of stories about practices missed. No coach publicly is going to throw an ex-player under the bus. That would be death for recruiting.

    All Mayock seems to be saying is what a lot of others have also said.

    Man, you Cam supporters are as bad as the religious Tebow fools.

  37. Athompgk

    i couldn’t have said it any better, no one brings up that none of his college teammates have anything negative to say about the man. None of these so could experts never bring up the accomplishments he had on the field. He accomplished in one year what Tebow did in three and they were ready to call Tebow the greatest college football player of all time. Talk about what he did on the field. Now it has come down to a “gut feeling”…..It this has come from a former coach then you would have consider this as a possibility but to come from a draft analyst who’s probably spent no more than an hour talking to the man is just crazy.

    Everyone keeps bringing up Russel, anyone that closely followed LSU football knew that Russel had no work ethic…. it was the Raiders fault for selecting him #1 based off of one game… If he hadn’t gone first he may have turned out alright.

  38. Whether he can be the best or not, who wants to be the next Urban Meyer, who let Newton go, only to watch him take another team to the Championship?

  39. Carolina is going to take him with she first pick and then hope he’s not another Jarmacus Russell.

  40. My concern here is two fold:

    1 Who/When did Gruden become a QB Guru? He is over rated as a coach and analyst. Only won SB because Dungy left him a ready built team with a great Defensive Coordinator.

    2. Everyone is concerned how he handle the interview, that his seemed dismissive or lacked concerned. Hell he has had to answer the same questions everyday for the last three months. 99% percent of us expert blog analyst would have snapped on somebody.

    We can all say the race is not a factor but those that do are liars.

    I dont remember anybody asking Sam Bradford, Jimmy Clausen, Matt Stafford or Mark Sanchez the same questions. Gruden point was to embarass him.

  41. @goombar,

    I don’t think anyone here called Mayock a racist or a racialist. You Americans who equate any mention of ethnicity with playing some ridiculous card are hilarious. I will say, I think we did find some things out about you. Worth it!

  42. mayock might better watch his wording before he gets his butt sued and i’m not referring to his blabbing on cam either.

    i can’t wait until one of you ‘journalists’ point, poke and badger the wrong person and get your butt handed to you. i think it is coming….

  43. Mayock has been very good at predicting many of the big draft stories before they happen over the past 5+ years or so.

    My favorite two, he pegged that Rodgers would be drafted by GB at 24(?) when other analysts were still talking about him or Smith going number 1. And later, when he was at JaMarcus Russels pro-day and he said it was “The best pro day I have ever seen by a QB. But I would not take him number 1 overall or even in the first round.”

  44. Perhaps I am wrong but I do not think Newton will be the first overall unless the Panthers trade their selection. I believe. Marcell Dareus will be their pick.

  45. I’d question him too. This clown watched his Dad take a ton of cash and acted like he didn’t know what was going on. Yeah… I would question Cam Newton’s drive and desire.

    That is what Mayock means when he said he’d be content as a multimillionaire.

    he’s right.

  46. I really think it comes down to QB’s being held to a higher standard than the other positions. An elite athlete with pretty good work ethic could probably end up a pretty good player at just about any other position.

  47. I’ve lost a lot of respect for Mayock during this process because his obvious bias to a CAA client is showing.

    Blaine Gabbert was a mediocre college QB in a system set up to make him look great, yet he has a “gut feeling” that Newton doesn’t want to be great.

    Well, what kind of feeling do you have about the guy who underachieved the past 2 years of his college career, Mike?

    Mayock is clearly not the face time, dribbling idiots that the BSPN guys are, but his evaluation of Gabbert defies logic since he’s fond of saying, “The tape doesn’t lie,” and the tape has shown a QB in a worse conference with better talent around him than his predecessor underachieve, yet all he receives is heaping praise while the guy who took college football by storm over the last 9 months is being knocked because you have a “gut feeling,” not tangible concerns like Jamarcus Russell had.

    It’s a shame…it’s kind of like when you find out one of your favorite actors has given up some prison love for apart, but I guess it was inevitable at some point that objectivity would go out the window for Mayock the longer he stayed in this business.

  48. pikindaguy,

    Russell’s work ethic was a huge point of contention, whereas Newton has never had an inkling of that reputation.

    A “gut feeling” is way different from people have told me this is how this guy behaves, don’t you think?

    PFT has an archive system, go search and you will find from January to April 2007.

  49. What is the relevance of Mayock’s gut feeling, his gut and $1.50 can get you a cup of coffee from Dunkin Donuts it won’t get you to the Super Bowl. Hell I had a gut feeling but I went to the bathroom and took care of that.

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