Chris Hovan Not Impressed With Cam Newton

April 25th, 2011

As part of his explosive appearance last week on “Happy Hour with J.P.” heard on WQYK-AM 1010 with electronic media czar J.P. Peterson, former Bucs defensive tackle Chris Hovan also tackled the subject of Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, who is rumored to be drafted by NFC South foe Carolina first overall.

Also last week heard on local radio airwaves, Mike Florio, the creator, curator and overall guru of, during his regular weekly appearance with Joe’s good friend “The Big Dog,” Steve Duemig, of WDAE-AM 620, said he wished he could see what was left on the cutting room floor of Chucky’s grilling of Newton in what appears to be a vacant Clearwater office turned film room for BSPN.

In Chucky’s episode with Newton, Chucky asked Newton to call a play in a huddle using some of the most complex verbiage used at Auburn.

Newton couldn’t do it, replying after thinking for a period of time, “You’re putting me on the spot.”

Few are aware that one of the people not shown in the video who was in that very  room at the time of the taping, lurking in the background, was Hovan.

Hovan described his impression of Newton from Chucky’s session.

J.P. Peterson: You were there with Gruden when he did his chalktalk, kind of in the background…

Chris Hovan: Right.

J.P.: … you said the other day that you were just not impressed with Cam’s intelligence and that he wasn’t very quick-witted which I am guessing has to be an absolute necessity for a quarterback in the NFL.

Hovan: It is. I mean, if you look at all the top flight quarterbacks, the Peyton Mannings and Tom Brady, they are so systematic when they play football. They know how to read coverages. The first and second audible or the third audible, where to go when the defense presents looks to them. And I don’t feel in a pressure situation that Cam can make those checks right now. If he was under Jon Gruden, if Jon Gruden was his head coach, he would definitely red shirt. If you are going to put him out there — first of all, Carolina’s offensive line, they pretty much only have Jordan Gross right now. He’s a left tackle and was drafted in the first round. If you put him in there with a suspect offensive line you are going to get the kid killed. Yeah, he can run…

J.P.: And he will be running.

Hovan: … but you can only run for so long. They are going to hunt this kid down. I don’t feel he is ready for the NFL level yet. Does he have the intangibles? Athletically, yes he does. But this is just a complex game when you go to the NFL level, especially at the quarterback position. You have to be ready to make those checks at the line of scrimmage. I don’t feel like he is ready for that yet.

J.P.: Now what kind of sense do you get from him as a leader? You have been in many, many locker rooms. You have played with many quarterbacks. You can name them. Some good ones and some bad ones. Did he have that quarterback intangible that you have to have where guys are going to run through the wall for you, they feel like you are the man and you will take us to the promised land. Did he have that charisma?

Hovan: No, I don’t really — he has charisma. J.P. The only thing I have a problem with was when he called himself an icon. You are not really iconic yet my man. Yes, you played one year at Auburn and won a national championship but you played one year. It’s enough to raise his draft stock but at the same time that does not make you ready for the NFL. You are not iconic yet. Peyton Manning is iconic, Tom Brady is iconic. Why? Because Tom Brady won three Super Bowls. Peyton Manning won a Super Bowl but he has always been in the hunt. For him to put himself out there and say that he is something that he is not, I do have a problem with that and he’s’ going to have a problem with that when he walks into a locker room. He’s going to have to go in there and earn the respect of his team. I just don’t think you need to be saying words before you produce.

Joe wishes Hovan would have given some other examples, but it was interesting to hear from someone in the same room as Newton and Gruden when this session was taped that sort of reinforced what others thought when Newton couldn’t answer a simply question from Chucky — didn’t even try to answer.

Newton was a sick quarterback in that dime store spread-option. The history of quarterbacks in the NFL succeeding in that spread-option is thin. Aaron Rodgers is one of the few Joe can think of (Sam Bradford is another) and how many years did Rodgers sit on the pine learning an NFL offense before the Packers got sick of Brett Favre’s drama?

23 Responses to “Chris Hovan Not Impressed With Cam Newton”

  1. espo Says:

    I just don’t see why the Panthers would draft another QB after using 2 picks on QBs last year. It just seems like a dumb move, especially with so many other needs. I wouldn’t doubt they’d try to trade down. I just don’t know if anyone would be willing to trade up. I’m big on Tony Pike from Cincy. I think they need to throw him to the wolves, or more likely, our new defensive ends.

  2. espo Says:

    By the way, I had to work during the live chat but was able to read it during the wee hours of the morning and loved it. I don’t keep up with potential draft picks, aside from 1st rounders, so I really appreciate all the fans asking pertinent questions. Thanks Joe and Justin for a job well done.

  3. Casey Says:

    Im sorry is it just me or Chris Hovan sounds like a grumpy retired player first is was Talib now Newton the things Gruden hit on the show was something we knew already and everybody knows that he needs to sit for a year

  4. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    I am starting to like Hovan more as a commentator then I did as a player. I think it will be a dumb move by the Panthers to take Newton, but they are desperate for fan support up there, especially after Tampa put an ass whipping on them. They are so desperate they got rid of John Fox. Cam Newton will sell tickets.

  5. Hunter Says:

    Hey, I agree 100% with him on this one….

  6. Champ Says:

    To be fair, Newton did not call himself and icon. He said he wanted to become an icon. It is not a bad goal, I just don’t think he understands exactly what it takes to become good enough to be an icon.

  7. Dave Says:

    Alot of QBs in college get signals from the sidelines. BUT, to not even be able to say the name of a play to Gruden because he “put him on the spot” is very telling.
    It tells me he has gotten by on pure athleticism and doesn’t know the first thing about being a QB

  8. RIBucBall Says:

    Dave, agree 100% if you watched any of the other QB’s Gruden had on they could break down and analyze X’s and O’s on the spot. Newton had a 1 read offense and in the NFL you need to be able to make sight adjustments and work progressions I don’t think the kid has the smarts to do it…

  9. m.wesley Says:

    yeah and Ryan leaf seemed like a genius he could break it all down.

  10. BigMacAttack Says:

    I think the Panthers will draft Marcel Dareus number one, or try and trade the pick, but I hope they draft Cam. He even makes Thomas look intelligent.

  11. Big Marlon B Says:

    I agree 100% with Hovan. I wasn’t impressed at all with Newton. You need confidence to succeed in the NFL, but I think he is incredibly arrogant. In the Gruden QB special, he put him on the spot and asked him to name a wordy play they ran at Auburn. Newton was completely stumped. Surely he should know enough to be prepared for these types of questions from personnel types. In my opinion, that made him look terrible. He will fail miserably.

    On a side note Joe, I may be mistaken….but didn’t Rodgers run a pro style offense at Cal under Jeff Tedford? If I remember correctly, Tedford was renowned for running a pro style offense, and sending multiple prospects to the NFL. The success rate of those pros (Kyle Boller being the only one I can remember off the top of my head) wasn’t exactly impressive. Rodgers runs the spread a lot in GB now, but I don’t remember him doing so in college. If I’m wrong, my apologies.

  12. Big Marlon B Says:

    sorry Dave, I just saw that you made pretty much the same point I did about Newton. That was a pretty damning moment for him, I believe.

  13. Jonny Says:

    LOL @ Panthers only having Jordan Gross. Bucs would be lucky to have a center like Ryan Kalil. How could he forget guard Travelle Wharton, the guy who mauled Hovan and Sims during 08-09 debacles?

  14. Big Marlon B Says:

    @ Jonny…..very easy for Hovan to forget him. it’s probably a repressed memory like a childhood rape lol. btw, Jeff Otah aint too bad either…

  15. Big Marlon B Says:

    this speaks to my point about Rodgers…

    this was just one of many results that came up on Google. check for yourself.

  16. Joe Says:

    Big Marlon B:

    It was always my impression that Tedford ran a spread-option, or a variation of, at Cal, which is why his players have stunk in the NFL.

    Remember seeing a feature on him on BSPN where his offense was such a maverick type of offense.

  17. Jimmy Says:

    Oh, looky. Chris Hovan shaves his armpits. How cute. Not even a German chick will do that.

  18. m.wesley Says:

    With all that evaluation Chucky is doing he should have fired Allan and drafted himself ,and how did he let Rodgers go him being the guru and all i know he grilled Arron Rodgers,I sure hope Cam does fine,so what if he sucked in front of Chucky some will wow you answering questions and doing drills and others are performers,I remember this other kid named Josh Freeman that couldnt read defenses,so the gurus said.I hope the kid does fine

  19. ScottB Says:

    After watching Gruden’s QB Specials, I liked Gabbert and Dalton the best. Newton may have some success, but it will be more in the lines of a soon to be unemployed QB from the Titans.

  20. gitarlvr Says:

    Newton is a bust. I can’t believe anyone thinks otherwise. He’s just an unintelligent person. There is all kinds of proof of this out there. He showed he doesn’t know his college teams terminology on Gruden’s show. He has a crap wonderlic score. He was stupid enough to endanger his chances of success in college and making it to the NFL by robbing a fellow student for their laptop. Oh and he cheated in school also because he was either too stupid or too unmotivated(or both) to be able to pass tests.

    Its one thing to take a flyer in the 4th round on a wide reciever like Mike Williams who had to cheat to try and pass classes. Its another thing entirely to spend the #1 overall pick in the draft on a QB with so many red flags. Insanity. I dearly hope for the Bucs sake that the Panthers do draft Newton. I have little doubt that Raheem will be able to scheme his coverages to bewilder Newton for years to come. Hopefully they don’t come to their senses and draft Gabbert instead.

  21. Brian Says:

    Pet peeve: someone learn the difference in “spreads”. The spread newton played in (run-based, and option) is not the same as bradford’s, come on. Aaron Rodgers ran a west-coast spread at Cal – and took a ton of 5 and 7 step drops. he’s not remotely a good comparison.

    cam newton may not have made 20 nfl-type reads in his whole career.

  22. Joe Says:


    Wasn’t the spread Newton ran more a wingback-based, where Newton was as much a running back as quarterback?

  23. JP Says:

    Chris Hovan’s opinion is valued these days?