I asked Cam Newton Wednesday during his 15-minute press conference about Michael Vick’s recent statement on Dan Patrick’s radio show that he was still the fastest quarterback in the NFL. Or, I asked, would Cam care to insert himself in such a contest?
“I’m taking my name off that ballot,” Newton said. “I think it’s between RG3 [Robert Griffin III], Colin [Kaepernick] and Michael Vick… I don’t want to be the fastest quarterback, I just want to be the guy that can’t be caught in the open field. Because if you get caught in the open field, that means you’re not doing something right, and that will be talked about in the locker room.”
Newton, 24, is eight years younger than the 32-year-old Vick. While growing up in suburban Atlanta, he used to idolize Vick when the current Philadelphia quarterback played for the Falcons. “He still has his jets,” Newton said, calling Vick an “unbelievable” character, athlete and person.
Vick is the NFL’s all-time career rushing leader for quarterbacks. But Newton last year became the first quarterback to lead his team in rushing since Philadelphia’s Donovan McNabb in 2000. He also had a 72-yard scoring run in which he did a front flip into the end zone. And given that he said Wednesday he played part of last season at 255 pounds and now is at 243, he will likely be a tick faster this year.
But in terms of pure speed, Cam is probably right. He wouldn’t win gold, silver or bronze in a quarterbacks-only 40-yard dash these days.
I think the fastest quarterback in the NFL is RG3, assuming he’s healthy, with San Francisco’s Kaepernick a close second and Vick third. RG3 ran a 4.41 40-yard dash at the 2012 scouting combine and some had him timed in 4.38 (Newton’s official time the year before was 4.59).
Vick ran a 4.33 back in the day at the scouting combine and there has never, ever been a faster college quarterback. But his body has undergone a lot of wear and tear since then, and I don’t think he could beat RG3 in a footrace any longer.