It’s become a fun practice to ask NFL prospects about the weirdest questions asked of them during team interviews at the NFL Combine. Geno Atkins said he was asked whether he preferred Burger King or McDonald’s. Dexter McCluster said he was asked to sing. And so on and so forth. Sometimes teams are just looking to loosen the prospect up so they can have an honest and truthful conversation. Other teams apparently think these strange questions can actually tell them something about the interviewee.
In 2011, Carolina Panthers quarterback and potential MVP candidate Cam Newton was asked an equally weird question in an interview with a team psychologist from the AFC North. According to ESPN, Newton was asked whether he saw himself as more of a cat or a dog. Essentially, did he see himself more as a person who drinks milk out of a saucer and arches his back when touched? Or did he look at himself as someone who lets his tongue hang out and drools all over the place and chases after a frisbee?
It’s an inherently odd question, and so Newton answered it in just the way you might expect the future leader of the Carolina Panthers to do. Newton told the psychologist that the question was “not relevant, and that he saw himself more as a human being.” A common sense answer, yes? Well, not to the team psychologist, who took his response to mean he had issues with authority.
From Newton’s bond with his teammates and head coach Ron Rivera, it sure doesn’t look like he has trouble working well with others. It just goes to prove that sometimes NFL teams outthink themselves, and that AFC North team is probably kicking itself for not drafting the kid from Auburn who is on the cusp of taking his team to the Super Bowl.