Moon to Newton: reveal all past issues at Combine

All eyes will be on the top NFL prospects arriving in Indianapolis this week for the league’s annual scouting combine. But, as always, there will be one player whose presence will steal the show.

Former Auburn quarterback and 2010 Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton.

Newton, who helped lead the Tigers to a BCS national championship this past season, has likely been receiving both solicited and unsolicited advice as he prepares for the next step in his football career. But his latest advisor, Warren Moon, carries a lot of weight because of his place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Cam NewtonICONThe evaluation of quarterback Cam Newton continues this week in Indianapolis at the Combine.

As Newton tries to make over his image following the NCAA investigation into his father's role in the 6-6, 250-pounder's recruitment, Newton’s draft stock continues to be debated. As NFL personnel do their homework in preparation for the draft, Newton can only help his value by being open regarding any and all past off-the-field transgressions. And according to The News Tribune of Tacoma, Wash., that is the advice Moon imparted on the dual-threat signal-caller, who has been accused of theft and academic fraud at Florida in addition to being shopped by his father while at Blinn College.

“That was when he was 18, but those are the things he’s going to have to face up to and hold up to,” Moon told The News Tribune. “He has the rare ability to block things out that are going on around him. He had all those things going on last year, but every Saturday he found a way to block that out and play at the highest level possible. Everybody wondered when the kid would crumble, but he never did. He’s a young kid who can deal with adversity.”

The physical skill set and winning pedigree of the reigning Heisman Trophy winner certainly screams NFL quarterback. However, there are some scouts who are leery about his character and his capability of moving from a spread-option offense to a pro-style scheme.

“I see a kid who trains to be great; that’s what he’s all about, all he talks about, being great," Moon told the paper. "His work ethic is so unbelievable that, if anything, you have to try to slow him down and keep him from doing too much. You see how much he wants to work at getting better, not just on the field, but in the classroom, studying film.

"He’s a highly intelligent kid who understands football, so he can learn any system. That’s not going to be the biggest issue. I think he’ll be fine with the football part of it.”

For Newton, currently ranked the No. 4 QB by the NFP, this week in Indianapolis marks the beginning of a long, intense and arduous process. We saw what he was able to do at Auburn in putting aside all of the distractions and still perform at the highest level every Saturday. Now, will he be up for the biggest challenge of his football career — the glaring spotlight that is life in the NFL?

We begin to find out this week when the league takes over Indy.

Email or follow me on Twitter at Miller_Dave

Want to work in the NFL? Click here to sign up for the NFP's "Chalk Talk at the Combine" Seminar February 25 in Indianapolis.

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