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Panthers coach Ron Rivera: Cam Newton, Robert Griffin III 'similar only to certain degrees'

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

For, ahem, various reasons, Robert Griffin III drew umpteen billion comparisons to Cam Newton leading up to the draft and then leading up to the beginning of his NFL career. Apparently those comparisons aren't going anywhere (wait until they play each other!) either.

Following RG3's not-really-but-kind-of-Cam-like debut, Panthers coach Ron Rivera was asked about the new Redskins quarterback and how Newton compares to the new Redskins signal caller and agreed with everyone sensible that they're not all that alike.

"I think their styles are similar only to certain degrees, certain aspects of the game," Rivera said, per Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer. "I think after that it's a lot more different. They get RG3 more on the edges, they get him outside the pocket a lot more. RG3 makes a lot more throws behind the line of scrimmage than we do. We attack a little bit more vertically as opposed to throwing the ball sideways. And our quarterback stays more in the pocket. I think those are some of the philosophical differences between our coordinator and their coordinator."

And, of course, there's the obvious: RG3 is a sprinter, Cam is a freaking tank. But, yes, as Rivera pointed out, they are similar in that they have strong arms and are able to run quickly, which makes them different from every other quarterback in the NFL.

"I think their skill sets are similar to the degree that they both have good arms, they're very athletic and they both run very well," Rivera said. "The difference obviously being the physical difference. Our guy is 6-5 and he's 6-2. There's that difference and about 40 pounds."

There are two actual non-lazy comparisons for the quarterbacks, though. First, they are both Heisman Trophy winners, although that doesn't apply only to them.

And second, both Griffin and Newton entered the NFL with a pile of pressure and high expectations, and subsequently had their offensive coordinators whisk elements of their college offenses into their new team's playbook. Grantland's Chris Brown did a fantastic job of breaking down the Redskins incorporation of elements from Baylor's offense in what Washington did against the Saints.

We saw similar things out of Newton last year, as Rob Chudzinski and the Panthers used certain parts of Auburn's offense within their own playbook.

And although you can make the comparison, it's quite possible this is really more of a trend in the NFL, not a unique set of circumstances for the two quarterbacks in question. Which means that they very well will continue being very much not the same quarterback.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed watch Pro Football 360 daily at 3 p.m. ET and NFL newsletter. You can follow Will Brinson on Twitter here: @willbrinson.

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