Jerry Rice Says Race Plays No Part in Criticisms of Quarterback Cam Newton


April 21, 2011

One of the greatest players in NFL history, Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice, said quarterback Cam Newton's accuracy — and not his race — is the biggest point of contention over his draft stock.

Newton, who could very likely be the draft's No. 1 pick, has been criticized for his Hollywood personality, poor leadership, bad off-the-field choices, questionable accuracy and an inability to read defenses. Conversely, others have come to Newton's defense on each of those issues.

Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon said last month the criticisms stemmed from race, but Rice told ESPN Radio on Thursday that race is not the issue at all, according to ProFootballTalk.

"I think the NFL is so much further now," Rice said. "I don't think race is a factor."

Having played with quarterbacks Joe Montana and Steve Young, Rice knows a thing or two about accuracy, so his critiques should be taken seriously. Rice also said he was impressed after spending some time with Newton.

"It's going to boil down to accuracy," Rice said. "He's going to have to be able to drop back, plant himself and deliver that football. During his workouts, the ball was a little high, all over the place."

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