Alex Smith is Super-Bowl Worthy, Cam Newton Has Offseason of Personal Growth

With less than a month to go until NFL training camps begin, other than a few player arrests, it’s been fairly quiet around the league.

But there’s still stories swirling around about the often-discussed quarterback. And one that is a topic of conversation as he enters the season with high expectations is the Kansas City Chief’s Alex Smith.

After losing his starting role to San Francisco 49ers Colin Kaepernick, Smith got shipped to the Midwest and will now play for Andy Reid’s Chiefs who likes his quarterbacks. So far, Smith has been acclimating well to his new team and besides Reid, he has another new fan, teammate running back Jamaal Charles.

Alex Smith

Alex Smith

On Friday, Charles went so far as to say he thinks Smith is a good enough passer, worthy of a Super Bowl. He said via NFL.com, “I think he is. He’s got a great arm. He’s been winning most all of his career. I think he wants to prove people wrong: That he is a good quarterback, that he can stay consistent.”

But has he been winning for most of his career? Smith entered the league in 2005–No. 1 overall pick by the 49ers– but only has two seasons where he has started in all 16 games. That came in 2006 and 2011, according to CBS Sports.

Then there were the injuries. Two of his seasons had been shortened from them and two other ones placed Smith on the bench in favor of other quarterbacks.

Charles added of Smith losing his starting role to Kaepernick last season, “It probably hurt him because he probably felt like everybody forgot about him because of the Kaepernick situation and being a backup. Making it to the Super Bowl but not playing in the Super Bowl. Everybody wants to play in the Super Bowl. So, I think he’s got a lot to prove and he’s a Super Bowl quarterback … with the passion to go out and prove people wrong.”

Should Smith falter on his new team, another backup quarterback, Chase Daniel will be ready. He signed a three-year, $10 million offseason deal with the Chiefs.

Will Daniel finally get a chance for playing time? Will he be the next Kevin Kolb or Ryan Fitzpatrick under Reid’s tutelage?

Much-needed change has come for the Chiefs, but it doesn’t look like they’ll win the Super Bowl in 2014 at +5000. Instead, they should be happy to have seven 2013 regular season wins (-130 over) after 2012’s 2-14 season.

And in another story of a quarterback looking toward a good season is the Carolina Panthers Cam Newton.

Cam Newton

Cam Newton

Entering his third NFL season, Newton had a sophomore slump but finished 2012 with a four-game win streak and a 7-9 record. At times, Newton was his own worst enemy.

Looking ahead to 2013, Newton has been a little self-reflective lately.

The player said via the Charlotte Observer, “I think this offseason has been key in my growth, going back and looking at things that I’ve done on the field and off the field. Whether I’m watching film or just watching things that I can become a better person at, I’m trying to polish things up to make me a better person and better player.”

What has Newton done on on the field? Who can forget last season’s moping on the sidelines and wearing a towel, covering his face?

Newton understands people are watching him and he plans to work on his body language.

He added, “Body language is everything. I could be having a conversation with you guys and have my face down and not make eye contact and everything’s OK. But the way it looks may come off a different way. And I understand that. That’s one thing I’ve tried to focus on, but at the same time it’s a work in progress.”

The bigger question is, will this new Newton translate to 2013 Panther wins? The team sits with another seven regular season win total (-125/105 o/u).

 

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