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Warren Moon admits Cam Newton puts “cart before the horse”

CORRECTION BCS Championship Football

** CORRECTS SPELLING TO NEWTON, INSTEAD OF NEWTOWN ** Auburn’s Cam Newton throws a pass during the first half of the BCS National Championship NCAA college football game against Oregon Monday, Jan. 10, 2011, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

AP

Former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton caused a ruckus earlier this week by calling himself an “entertainer and an icon” and by boasting that he has accomplished more in one year than most accomplish in their entire collegiate careers. Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon, who has been helping Newton prepare for the next level, realizes that Newton has a habit of getting ahead of himself.

"[T]hose types of statements are a little bit putting the cart before the horse,” Moon told Bill Pidto of Sirius Mad Dog Radio, “but this kid has the ability to be that and he’s kinda done that on the college level with what he did in just one year at the University of Auburn. But he’s got to start all over again going into the National Football League. He just really thinks in terms of being great all the time and sometimes, like I said, he gets the cart before the horse and he’s got to just slow down a little bit. But he really feels like he’s going to be a great, great player and that’s what he trains to be.”

Moon seems to realize that only so much can be done to keep Cam in check.

"[Y]ou try and filter that as much as you possibly can but I don’t go into every interview with him,” Moon explained. “Again, that’s just how confident the kid is. He trains with a lot of confidence, he has a lot of confidence in his ability, and he could be a little bit more careful with some of the things he says that kind of show that confidence a little bit too much. Sometimes confidence should be something that you keep inside and something that you should just show when you go out on the football field or whatever arena that you are competing in and that’s something he’s got to do a better job of.”

So will the comments help or hurt Newton?

“I think some might and then some might enjoy it,” Moon said. “Some might like that confidence. I think how you handle that confidence is the important part of it and I’m sure those suggestions will be made to him by other people as well. But I would rather have a kid that is really confident in his ability and also goes about doing it as opposed to just sitting back and saying a bunch of things but not really going about doing it than somebody that’s not that confident. So you definitely want a confident person at that position, somebody that feels like he’s going to be a great leader and somebody that feels like he can get the job done when he’s asked to perform in certain situations.”

We agree with Moon -- it’s important for any quarterback to be confident. But there’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance.

Saying “I intend to play great,” for example, is far more attractive to a coach than saying “I play great.”

Besides, boasting about being an “entertainer” and an “icon” doesn’t indicate confidence. It’s evidence of hubris, and it will only get worse if Newton’s name is called at the top of the 2011 draft.