Friday, February 25, 2011

Cam Newton Character Questions Addressed by Falcons GM at NFL Combine

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If this was the 2008 draft and the Atlanta Falcons had the third pick in the draft, it is pretty clear they would not take Cameron Newton with that pick, like they did when they took Matt Ryan.

Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff was asked at the NFL Combine about character and personality when evaluating quarterbacks. I'm not trying to make Dimitroff look like a Cam-basher; I'm just interested in his responses because he is a respected GM and I think he's smart as heck.

"To me, it's huge. It was a big part of our interview process with Matt Ryan," Dimitroff said. "We spent a lot of time not only with him physically in Boston, but a lot of time with associates he dealt with. We want him to be the first guy in and the last guy out.

"We want him to have a presence. We want Matt Ryan to lead the entire team. ... That respect was something that Matt was able to obtain right away with the Atlanta Falcons from the defense and offense."

Did Newton hurt his chances to be the No. 1 pick when he said in interviews that he wanted to be "an icon and entertainer."

Dimitroff said it might not raise red flags with some teams, but it might raise red flags with others.

It is pretty clear the Falcons are really leaning on personality and character when drafting players or signing free agents. Dimitroff is not alone here. Teams invest a lot of money in quarterbacks and it is one position where they absolutely cannot make a mistake.


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