Thursday, February 10, 2011
ESPN Analyst Trent Dilfer Under Fire For His Opinion of Cam Newton
On Thursday morning, former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton held a private workout in San Diego, California in front of a mass crowd of media wanting to get their first look at him since the national championship game in early January.
According to ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer, Newton's workout "would have made scouts drool," if they had been there for it.
Ever since Dilfer gave that opinion, he's come under fire from just about everyone from Twitter to Facebook to everything in between. It's not the first time he's been in hot water over an opinion of a quarterback.
Last year, the former NFL quarterback gave his opinion on incoming rookie quarterbacks Sam Bradford, Jimmy Clausen, and Colt McCoy saying McCoy, a former quarterback at the University of Texas, would be the better of the three. That opinion led some to fire back at Dilfer and call it a "conflict of interest" as Dilfer and McCoy were both clients of Athletes First.
Gregg Rosenthal of Pro Football Talk spoke to Dilfer in April of last year about what he had said. Rosenthal says Dilfer was very open and candid about his opinion and found him to be "passionate, candid, and credible."
Fast forward almost a year later and again he is under fire again. And again, it's for giving an opinion. It's not that the opinion is wrong since it's what he believes to be true, it's just the fact that people don't agree with him. Bradford hasn't played that bad with the St. Louis Rams, Clausen has his struggles with the Carolina Panthers and McCoy seems to be gaining strength with the Cleveland Browns.
So, looking back on it, can anyone really say Dilfer's opinion was way off when he gave his assessment of the three young quarterbacks? Should he have said something completely different, something he knew he didn't believe?
I find it amazing that when an analyst gives an opinion there are those who are quick to call them out because they may not agree. They may want to call it a "conflict of interest" but it saves them from saying what they really should be saying. "I believe you're wrong." While those may not be the exact words, I used the edited version because this is a family sports site.
Let's get into the meat of the situation. Are people ripping into Dilfer's opinion because it's Dilfer or are they ripping him because they don't believe Newton can actually have a workout worthy of drool from the mouth's of NFL scouts?
I'd love to know what the real reason for calling his credibility into question. He does have a Super Bowl ring, he is a former NFL quarterback, and he does have experience at the position both in college (Fresno State) and the pros (Buccaneers, Seahawks, Ravens, Browns, 49ers). I would think he would be able to spot talent when he sees it.
If you ask certain Cleveland Browns' fans, or all of them actually, they'll tell you how much they hate their former quarterback. Ever since a run in with one of the coaches during his time in Cleveland. There's that and the fact he won a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens, the team that used to be in Cleveland.
That city just can't get away from epic sports failures, but I digress.
Dilfer is going to have an opinion and, like it or not, you're just going to have to deal with it. You can agree with him if you want or you can disagree with him. Each is your prerogative.
But instead of bashing him because you might have hated the way he handled things with the Browns or because you don't believe he's a good quarterback, doesn't mean he isn't right on in his analysis of Newton's ability. At least from what he saw in the first workout.
Most wouldn't call the former Auburn quarterback the prototypical NFL quarterback but then again they said Drew Brees wasn't tall enough to be a great quarterback when he came out of Purdue. How did that one work out?
There are going to be experts who will disagree with Dilfer's assessment and we'll call them credible just because we can and because we don't want the ESPN analyst to be right. But when he does turn out to be right about this young man, will we finally believe he has some ability to know who has talent to perform at the next level?
Probably not. That's just the way fans work. If they don't like someone, they do everything they can to bash their opinion just because they can. They can't imagine a run first quarterback could succeed in the NFL, though we've seen Michael Vick do just fine with his speed.
We don't know what's going to happen with Newton and we certainly don't know where he's going to be drafted. This is only one man's opinion on one player.
Apparently some are taking it far more seriously than they need to. But it will give people like me the forum to give my opinion on whether Dilfer is right or wrong.
Or maybe I'll just wait until someone else gives their opinion on Newton's performance on Thursday. If I don't like it, I'm sure I'll make sure everyone knows about it.
Then again, I may just let you have your opinion and leave it at that. You're welcome.