SAN FRANCISCO — A lot has been made about Cam Newton’s celebrations and posturing on the field, and it’s been framed as a new school vs. old school debate. But how would the oldest-of-school coaches have dealt with such antics?
That was the question posed to Phil Simms regarding Bill Parcells.
“Let’s put it this way,” Simms said on Monday at the CBS media event in anticipation of Super Bowl 50. “Let’s say I was as talented as Cam Newton and I was running and throwing touchdowns and doing everything that he does. Bill would go ‘Atta way, son! Keep it going!’ There are a lot of ways to look at it.”
Simms promised that he will go into many of them on the broadcast Sunday.
“I can relate to it as an ex-player, as a broadcaster, as a father,” Simms said. “There are a lot of ways to look at this. I’m going to answer the question strongly on Sunday.”
As for Monday, Simms was simply content to talk about Newton’s athleticism.
“Somebody said to me, ‘He has so much fun playing the game,’ ” he said. “I said, ‘Well, no kidding. I would have fun too if I was the best player out there.’
“For everybody it’s a struggle. For almost everybody on the field, it’s play-to-play, year-to-year. You just struggle and hang.
“Guys like Cam Newton, Michael Jordan, of course they enjoy what they do, because they’re the best. His talent is overwhelming. It’s like me going in the driveway and playing against my son when he was 9 years old in basketball. I scored at will. ‘What do you think about that, son?’ I was having a heck of a time.”
Simms said he has “probably not” seen a quarterback as gifted as Newton, but he suspects that there were some who could have come close if they played today.
“Look at Terry Bradshaw,” Simms said. “Terry Bradshaw is one big human being. When he slaps you across the back, you want to press assault charges against him. He’s just a big man. He could throw it just like Cam Newton and might have been faster. He’s almost as big. Think what he would have done in today’s era?
“There’s been some phenomenal physical freaks in the past, but we never got to see their whole talent because the game was so different.”