Shaun King: Cam Newton Is Making Those Around Him Better
Shaun King, former Buccaneers quarterback and contributor to NBC and PorFootballTalk, joins Mac and Jim to discuss a myriad of topics. Some of the issues Shaun weighs in on: the idea of showcasing Kirk Cousins for a trade, the next Saints-Panthers matchup, offers criticism of the Panthers wide receivers, Jonathan Stewart’s absence, potential playoff matchups for the Panthers, weight gain, hair loss, Rodney Peete, the Panthers making a run, Peyton Manning in the cold, boxing and skinny jeans.
On RG3 being sabotaged: Matt Ryan and Eli Manning are on $100 million deals, their teams are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs and you don’t see their coaches holding press conferences saying they’re going to sit them to avoid injury. Part of becoming a franchise quarterback is proving to your teammates that when your organization goes through turbulent times, they can still depend on you to be there, to still lead, to still prepare, and still be the captain of the ship. Mike Shanahan has taken that away from RG3 to spite him, and he’s done it because their last three opponents (ATL, DAL, and NYG) are all in the bottom six in sacking the quarterback and all not very good on defense. So, this is tailor made for Kirk Cousins to come in and look good, then Shanahan can go into the off-season saying it’s not me, it’s not my system, it’s RG3.
On the Panthers growing up: New Orleans is a tough place to play. If the Panthers score touchdowns on those first two drives instead of field goals, it’s a different game. I think they learned a valuable lesson because more than likely they’re going to be on the road in the playoffs and understand this isn’t a team that’s been to the Super Bowl. A lot of these guys have never experienced the playoffs or the atmosphere, so that was a good learning experience in New Orleans. Now, they’ll know come playoff time when you get opportunities in those games, you have to score touchdowns.
On the Panthers offensive philosophy: They have limited personnel and their GM will have to fix it in the off-season. The success the Panthers have had should illuminate to the fan base just how valuable Cam Newton is to this team. The great quarterbacks are the ones who make the guys around them better and at the end of the day, this is one of the more limited offenses, from a talent standpoint, of teams that are going to be in the playoffs. I take my hat off to Mike Shula, they’re doing an excellent job of getting the offense back to what they need to be with their current set of personnel. Maybe take a shot ever now and then, but keep it conservative because they don’t have the skill players right now, to be wide open.