Brock Osweiler is no Cam Newton, but then who is this season?
Osweiler has the unenviable task this week of trying to mimic Carolina Panthers quarterback Newton as the Denver Broncos’ scout-team quarterback. Meanwhile, he has to keep up with the Broncos’ game plan because he is still his team’s backup to Peyton Manning.
Osweiler is big enough at 6-7 and 240 pounds to resemble Newton’s dimensions (6-6, 246). But neither he, nor possibly anyone, can replicate Newton’s elusiveness and power in designed runs. Still, Osweiler has studied the Panthers’ plays enough to do a competent imitation.
“Well, he’s not quite as fast, I can tell you that,” said Broncos coach Gary Kubiak.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Charlotte Observer
“It’s different. He and (third-string quarterback) Trevor (Siemian) have had to take on a different identity in practice in some of the things we do. That’s important, and Brock takes his job very seriously.
“He has got to prepare to play, too. He has got to prepare to do his job for us, also. But, I think he has done a really good job. It’s a little bit (of a) different look in some of the things they do. The extra (preparation) time has helped us. We needed the extra week. It helped us, especially defensively.”
Osweiler chimed in: “It is extremely difficult. Cam Newton is one of the best players in the National Football League and he is one of those guys that I don’t think you can simulate. But at the same time, I am very prideful in giving our defense a great look on scout team. I have done my absolute best to give those guys a great look over the past couple weeks.”
No underdog ploys: Panthers coach Ron Rivera has no problem with dreaming up slights to motivate his players in a season when they’re perceived as dominant most games.
Kubiak could seemingly have a handy one, with Las Vegas installing the Panthers as a six-point betting favorite.
“I don’t think I have to go there,” Kubiak said Tuesday. “They're smart players. They’ve been at it for a long time. I would just say this: We’ve been in this situation before (as underdogs) throughout the course of the season.
“We have great respect for their football team and what they’re capable of doing and how they got here, but we also have a lot of confidence in our football team, too.”
Versatility, thy name is Von: Broncos linebacker Von Miller loved it Monday night when he was asked how many football positions he has played since taking up the game.
“Every single position from offensive guard to quarterback, free safety, strong safety. I played them all,” Miller replied.
Asked what rule he’d change, Miller admitted to being self-serving in wanting to do away with the cut block.
“The game is already great and they do a great job with all the rules,” Miller said. “Being selfish and thinking how I could get more sacks – if you take out the cutting from offense to defense that could possibly happen.”
No Twitter fill-ins: Broncos defensive coordinator Wade Phillips has enjoyed adopting Twitter in his 60s. He was asked Monday if anyone ever ghost-writes his Tweets.
“I can’t pay anybody to do that. It’s not that hard,” Phillips said. “My little grandkids can do it, so I should be able to send something out.”
Fox tracks: John Fox coached both the Panthers and, more recently, the Broncos. Defensive back Chris Harris was asked if Fox still has a stamp on this team, a year removed from him leaving for the Chicago Bears.
“We all came in with Coach Fox and he developed us for four years. He developed me, Von. We lost a lot of guys to free agency, but he developed a lot of us and he definitely does” still have his fingerprints on the team, Harris said.
“Scheme-wise we’re a totally different team, but Coach Fox did do a good job of developing us.”