When asked at the Scouting combine about the distinctions between Newton and Griffin, Rivera replied, “I don’t think it’s fair to compare them that way.”
Rivera certainly has a right to his opinion, because he and Cam just had the best rookie-quarterback and 1st year coach season in NFL history.
The two quarterbacks both come out of spread offenses in college and have uncommon speed, but Rivera thinks the comparison may end there.
Rivera had an interesting proposition about who will run more in the NFL:
“I do see Robert, in my opinion, tends to run a little bit more than Cam,” Rivera said. “I think that’s by design. I think we try to use Cam more in the pocket.”
If Cam broke the QB rushing touchdowns record, and Griffin runs more than him, then is it likely Griffin will break the record for a second year in a row? Probably not.
Griffin did say last week that he thinks he threw the ball much more at Baylor than Newton did at Auburn, but this Panthers coaching staff is using Newton much differently than he was used at Auburn.
So who would Rivera compare RG3 to? Michael Vick.
“Michael creates and makes plays running the ball a little bit more,” Rivera said. “I think Cam tries to be more of a pocket passer. But I do know that Michael’s got a great arm and flicks it out there as well as anyone in the league. And that’s what you see from Robert Griffin.”
This comparison may work better just based on pure speed. Griffin ran a faster 40-yard dash at the Combine than any quarterback since (you guessed it) Michael Vick. In any case, Griffin is a unique talent and has all the tools in his arsenal to make future mobile quarterbacks get compared to him, and he hopes that it will be in a positive light.