The most entertaining off-the-field plot for Panthers-Saints week has turned into the playful war of words between Carolina quarterback Cam Newton and New Orleans defensive end Cam Jordan.
Both had fun on the subject of fashion Wednesday, with Newton commenting during his regular mid-week press conference and Jordan talking to NOLA.com in Louisiana a few hours later.
First, I asked Newton a question about what Jordan said in September following New Orleans’ 34-13 victory over Carolina. Referring to some of Newton’s louder outfits, Jordan said then that Newton had “gone with the grandma hat and the onesie” and joked that Newton had not worn “high heels” – at least not yet.
“I didn’t know he was a fan of my dress code,” Newton said Wednesday when I asked him about Jordan’s criticism. “Obviously he’s been paying attention. Nevertheless, that’s flattering to me. If he sends me his address, I can send him some sauce.”
Countered Jordan to NOLA.com’s Josh Katzenstein a few hours later: “What does sauce mean? With fedoras and tight pants (two more frequent items in Newton’s ensemble), I don’t know what sauce means. I’m scared. I’m good. I don’t have the body for that. He’s got a basketball-type body, so he rocks some basketball-type things.”
Smiling during his answer, Newton also said during his press conference of Jordan: “I’ve seen the way he dresses too, so – not that this is a fashion show or anything.”
Both players were complimentary of the other’s play on Wednesday. Jordan had a sack in New Orleans’ victory in Charlotte earlier this season and was a force much of the day. He is having a Pro Bowl-caliber year for the Saints, leading the team with 10 sacks.
“He’s a great player – I understand that and I know that,” Newton said. “He’s having a great year for those guys. We just have to monitor him and be alert for where he is at all times.”
The Panthers and Saints play at 4:25 p.m. on Sunday. With both teams 8-3, the winner will be alone in first place in the NFC South.
Jordan said in September that he liked the idea of Newton trying to be a pocket passer. Newton ran the ball a season-low three times vs. the Saints – although one rush was for the Panthers’ only TD. He had a terrible game throwing the ball that afternoon, with three interceptions and a season-low 43.8 quarterback rating.
Jordan said after the September game, which began an eight-game winning streak for New Orleans: “Clearly he (Newton) is trying to be more of a pocket passer and I’m OK with it. Perfectly fine with it.”
Newton has since run the ball far more and has led the Panthers in rushing numerous times this season, which Jordan and the Saint have obviously noticed.
“At the end of the day, it looks like he’s running back to what he normally is,” Jordan said Wednesday of Newton. “So we’ve got our hands full. Early on in the year, he was trying to be more of a pocket passer, and now he’s back to running that high-octane, read-power-option stuff and it’s clearly working.”
As for Newton’s line about the NFL not being a “fashion show,” Jordan said: “If it was, I’m sure he’d win – in France.”