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Cam Newton - Haven't We Seen This Before?

A Bucs' division rival has a flashy young quarterback, one with a short but highly impressive college career. The quarterback in question has all the physical tools he needs to be a dominant NFL quarterback, and can do some things no one else can. However, he's a very raw player who will need to adjust to the pro game, and there are some questions about his character. You could use these exact words to describe Cam Newton, but you could also use them to describe another quarterback the Bucs faced a number of years ago: Michael Vick

Michael Vick was a phenomenon out of college, selected first overall in the 2001 draft. He sat for most of his rookie season but became the starter in his second year, turning in a Pro Bowl season. People thought he could be the next great thing, the quarterback to change the way the game was played. Fortunately for the Bucs, that never happened and Michael Vick never became a dominant quarterback. In fact, the Bucs never had that much trouble with Vick, who had a 4-5 record against the Bucs over his career. Not even in his Pro Bowl sophomore year could Vick do much against the Bucs defense. "They talked about the great Michael Vick, he's a great talent talent. How are you going to stop Michael Vick, how are you going to stop him? Not one word was said, about how somebody was going to stop this defense!" said Jon Gruden after a 34-10 shellacking of the Atlanta Falcons

I see a lot of similarities between Vick and Newton, although Vick is a more explosive athlete than Cam Newton, and Newton is probably a better team leader. But Newton's running ability could trouble the Bucs, who have had a lot of problems stopping anyone running the past years. The Bucs don't have a Derrick Brooks to stop a running quarterback, but they do have a secondary that can stop a very raw rookie passer like Cam Newton. In the long term Newton could develop into a problem for the Bucs, but in the short term the Panthers should continue to be a team the Bucs can beat without too much trouble. Not because their team is all that horrible (they have some real talent on defense), but because Newton is going to hold them back.