In my story today, Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and players on his defense discussed how to contain Cam Newton this week, as Seattle faces one of the more dynamic players in the league.
The Panthers have the 11-ranked rushing offense in the league, and are averaging more than 10 explosive plays – runs over 12 yards or passes over 16 yards – a game.
“You just have to have pursuit, and we’ve got to keep him contained, just like everybody else,” Bradley said. “(Aaron) Rodgers was the same way, the way he could get out of the pocket and extend the plays to throw it – but this guy can throw it or run it. So we’ve got to make sure that when he does get outside the pocket, we’ve got some guys that can really track him and try to lead him to the sideline, and use the sideline to help them, and just use our tackling fundamentals.”
Dave Boling of The News Tribune writes that Newton offered some sage advice for Russell Wilson, who’s going through a similar experience to what the Carolina quarterback experienced in his rookie season last year. Newton: “You have to have a strong foundation of mental capacity, and not let your values alter by no means,” he said. “If you believe in something – no matter how the season is going – you just have to be strong as a person. In this league you’re going to have success, you’re going to have downfalls, but on those downfalls, you have to treat it like a speed bump and not a roadblock.”
Dave Wyman of 710 ESPN Seattle offers 11 reasons for the Seahawks not to fear Cam Newton. Here’s reason No. 1: “Brandon Mebane. The Seahawks defensive tackle turned in one of the most dominant defensive performances I’ve ever seen against the Rams on Sunday. This comes from someone who had a front-row seat for Cortez Kennedy’s Hall of Fame career.”
Former Seahawks quarterback Jon Kitna joins Brock Huard and Mike Salk of 710 ESPN Seattle, adding to the chorus of former NFL quarterback who live in the area saying to be patient with Russell Wilson in this audio link.
Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com says Wilson is preparing for a homecoming in his return to North Carolina.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times says it’s time for Doug Baldwin to start clicking in the Seahawks’ offense.
ESPN’s NFL analyst Ron Jaworski says that Wilson’s height is affecting his ability to see downfield: “When I look at the tape, it is clear to me that Wilson must move in order to see his targets downfield. He can be effective when he gets his passing lanes, but as soon as he has to move, it disrupts the timing and rhythm of the offense — the cornerstones of the NFL game. We will see a few big plays from him and he definitely has a live arm, but I just think his size will always hurt him.”
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports on the Rams 17-3 win over previously undefeated Arizona. St. Louis sacked Cardinals QB Kevin Kolb nine times. St. Louis (3-2) is over .500 for the first time since 2006. The Rams did get some bad news though, with receiver Danny Amendola suffering a broken collarbone during the game
Ron Green Jr. of the Charlotte Observer talks with Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly, who remembers facing Russell Wilson during his ACC days back at Boston College: “Chasing him around, that was the challenge,” Kuechly said. “A lot of guys in college can run but can’t throw or they can throw but can’t run, he’s a guy that can do it all. He can run, he can pass.
“He’s a smart quarterback, too. He knows where he’s going with the ball. That’s how he was in college. He knew how to pick apart our defense at BC and he did that a couple of times. He’s smart. Don’t misconceive his size. He can get around and he can throw the ball.”