Inside the Panthers

CBS’ Boomer Esiason: SB50 matches QB throwing junk against freak athlete

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is a freak athlete playing quarterback according to CBS analyst Boomer Esiason.
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is a freak athlete playing quarterback according to CBS analyst Boomer Esiason. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

The changing of the guard at the quarterback position is one of the prominent storylines at Super Bowl 50.

And former Bengals and Jets quarterback Boomer Esiason offered a couple of colorful descriptions Monday when describing the wildly different skill sets of Carolina’s Cam Newton and the Broncos’ Peyton Manning.

After considering Tom Brady and Carson Palmer for MVP, Esiason ultimately voted for Newton because of all the things he’s done this season for the 17-1 Panthers.

“They’ve got this freak athlete playing quarterback that just shakes guys off and runs over people. It’s really amazing,” said Esiason, a CBS studio analyst. “It’s like a combination of (athletic quarterbacks) Daunte Culpepper and Randall Cunningham. That’s who it is.”

Esiason was less enthusiastic about the physical skills of Manning, who will surpass Broncos GM John Elway as the oldest QB to start a Super Bowl. But Esiason praised Manning for figuring out a win to get victories.

“It’s going to be hard to beat (Carolina), especially with a 39-year-old quarterback,” Esiason said. “(Manning) is the Bartolo Colon of the NFL. Although he’s in much better shape than Bartolo. He’s learned how to throw junk. He’s learned how to make the right calls at the line of scrimmage.

“He’s learned how to deal with all the different situations because he’s so much sharper than everybody else on the field.”

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