Bill Romanowski's plan to stop Cam Newton: Hit him hard and choke him

It's fair to say that opponents hated Bill Romanowski. He had a contentious 16-year NFL career, playing for the 49ers, Eagles, Broncos and Raiders. When it was over, he had racked up 1,105 tackles, 39.5 sacks, 18 forced fumbles, and 18 interceptions.

Almost as impressive: his laundry list of on-field incidents, from kicking Cardinals running back Larry Centers in the head, to spitting in the face of 49ers wide receiver J.J. Stokes, to breaking the jaw of Panthers quarterback Kerry Collins on a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit.

Romanowski is in San Francisco this week for Super Bowl 50, and on Wednesday he spoke about another Panthers quarterback -- specifically, how he'd stop likely league MVP Cam Newton.

"I'd hit him as hard as I possibly could, and probably at the bottom of the pile I'd try to get him by the neck and choke him," Romanowski said during an interview with Bleacher Report. ... "And hopefully he can't breathe for a long time."

Romanowski's laughing in the video above, so presumably he's joking. Then again, who knows. His track record suggests that he very well might try to choke Newton if the two ended up at the bottom of a pile. The thing is, Newton -- who is listed at 6-foot-5 and 245 pounds -- is bigger than Romanowski (6-4, 245).

Then again, former Raiders teammate Marcus Williams was 6-foot-6 and 230 pounds when Romanowski ripped his helmet off, punched him in the face and broke his left orbital bone during a scrimmage.

Romanowski was ordered by a jury to pay Williams $340,000. The injuries forced Williams to retire from football.

Meanwhile, Broncos defensive coordinator Wade Phillips knows he'll have his hands full with trying to stop Newton.

"You're giving my nightmares now, right?" Phillips told the media earlier this week when asked about Newton. "Yeah, I've never seen one like him and nobody else has. ...

"I think our speed overall on defense helps, obviously," he continued. "I've had teams before that you couldn't put somebody spying the quarterback because the quarterback was faster than them. And we've got some guys that can spy the quarterback if we need to. I feel like we're in good shape."

Bill Romanowski has a plan to stop Cam Newton. (USATSI)
Bill Romanowski has a plan to stop Cam Newton. (USATSI)
CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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