Bills' Gailey: Newton a 'wildcat' QB

Cam Newton is doing the right thing by participating in full workouts at the Combine.
Cam Newton is doing the right thing by participating in full workouts at the Combine.
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Adam Caplan

Adam Caplan is our newest NFL reporter/insider at He has spent the past 10 seasons covering the league, specializing in player personnel, injuries and contracts.



One of the toughest decisions a team will face when evaluating former Auburn University quarterback Cam Newton is to figure out how his game translates to the NFL level.

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Thursday, Buffalo Bills head coach Chan Gailey called Newton a “wildcat” quarterback because he played primarily out of the shotgun at Auburn and ran a lot out of that formation.

Newton, who only started one season at Auburn, passed the ball just 16 times more (280) than he ran it (264).

“I’m anxious to see him to continue to work out. I’m anxious to see what he’s going to do here this week. He obviously had a great year. I watched him several times on TV,” Gailey said. “I have not studied him to this point yet. I’ve looked at a little bit of tape, but have not studied him. He’s a big athlete that is in that wildcat mode, but obviously has the ability maybe to go to a drop-back passer mode."

Gailey also said the evaluation of a quarterback who started only one season actually isn’t as hard as evaluating one that played in a nonpro style offense.

Of course, Auburn’s offense can’t be considered pro style, which makes projecting Newton —  the Heisman Trophy winner — to the NFL level that much more difficult.

“Experience always helps. I don’t care if you’re in your position out there, if you’re in my position up here or if you’re a player, experience helps. The more times that you have played in big situations, in front of big crowds and in big games it helps you. I don’t think developing the one-year guy is as big as developing the guy that has not been in a typical pro-style type of offense,” Gailey said. “ I think when you’re trying to change a guy’s thought process into a certain mode that’s a little harder to me than it is to take a guy that’s a one-year guy. A one-year guy that had been in the pro-type offense, to me he’s going to understand and be further along than the guy who was one-year in a nontraditional style pro offense. I think that’s the best way to answer it.”

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