Why Eagles Safety Heckled Patriots’ Cam Newton During Joint Practice

Newton was the recipient of some trash talk Tuesday


Aug 17, 2021

Cam Newton and the New England Patriots offense showed a concerning inability to push the ball downfield last season, thanks in large to the absence of an effective vertical passing attack.

As such, the trash talk dished out Tuesday by Philadelphia Eagles safety K’Von Wallace during the second day of joint practices at NovaCare Complex probably didn’t sit well with Newton, however innocent the heckling might have been on its surface.

According to Mike Kaye, Eagles beat writer for NJ.com, Newton threw to running backs on consecutive plays during 7-on-7s, prompting Wallace to shout from the sideline, “Checkdown king!”

Kaye asked Wallace after practice about giving Newton an earful.

“I’m just aggressive, in my approach to the game and who I go against,” Wallace reportedly said. “I feel like whoever is the opposition, I do my best to get in their head. To say what I need to say, to do what I need to do to beat them, to win, and I felt like at the time, there were a lot of checkdowns going on.”

Of course, Newton has been around for a while. The 32-year-old is a former MVP and a three-time Pro Bowl selection with a decade of NFL experience. It’s hard to imagine the 24-year-old rattling him too much during a preseason practice.

But, as mentioned, New England’s offense sputtered for much of the 2020 season. And now, Newton is trying to fend off first-round pick Mac Jones in the battle to become the Patriots’ starting QB in 2021.

“I had to let him know like, ‘Not only are you throwing checkdowns, you’re doing it over and over again like you’ve mastered it, like you’re the king of it,’ ” Wallace told Kaye. “I had to let him know, ‘You’re the king of checkdowns.’ But any way you can get in the quarterback’s head, that’s the best approach.”

Sometimes, a good checkdown is enough to move the sticks and keep the offense rolling. That said, “checkdown king” isn’t exactly a title NFL quarterbacks are clamoring for these days, especially with the league becoming more and more pass-happy.

The Patriots and Eagles will square off in preseason action Thursday night at Lincoln Financial Field.

Thumbnail photo via Bob Breidenbach/The Providence Journal via Imagn Content Services, LLC
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