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- Feb 2:
- Eugene Robinson tells Panthers of "worst night"
- Panthers present
- different challenge for Broncos
- Broncos safety Ryan Murphy questioned in prostitution sting
- Kiszla: Peyton Manning at peace, in no hurry for the Last Rodeo to end
- Broncos defensive coordinator Wade Phillips connects with players
- Panthers coach Ron Rivera draws on lessons from 1985 Bears
- Fred Pagac, Broncos' outside linebackers coach, keeps eye on ultimate prize
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — If the Broncos had a playbill, it would spell out their casting choices: "And playing the role of Cam Newton will be Brock Osweiler, with understudy Trevor Siemian."
A Fig Newton resembles Cam Newton more than do the Broncos' backup quarterbacks. But it hasn't stopped them from pretending to be the Carolina Panthers' all-pro star in practice this week.
"Somebody like Cam is hard to simulate," Osweiler said. "But your team needs that look."
The Broncos, in the run-up to Sunday's Super Bowl, are trying to maximize their methods of preparation for Newton and the Panthers' high-pulse offense.
But Denver's defense doesn't get to peek at the Panthers' playbook. So they have to pretend. Osweiler and Siemian are counterfeit Cams, feigning the Carolina offense as best they can.
"They hold up a card for me, and I do my best to run that card," Osweiler said.
Newton is difficult to duplicate. His skill set (pocket passer, scrambler and power runner), physical frame (6-foot-5, 245 pounds) and mental awareness (can run a zone-read option) set him apart.
"It's tough to know exactly what they're doing without their playbook. But it's an interesting scheme," Siemian said. "Cam runs the show, mentally and physically. They have a bunch of different elements to their offense, from what I can tell."
Osweiler and Siemian together have to "Frankenstein" into Newton's role. But there are drawbacks.
"Well, (Brock's) not quite as fast, I can tell you that," Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said. "It's different. He and Trevor have had to take on a different identity in practice."
Denver's defense will ultimately fall back to game tape to scout Newton. They have 18 game films from this season to figure out how to stop Newton in the red zone. The Panthers have scored touchdowns on an NFL-high 70 percent of their trips inside the 20-yard line.
But Osweiler, the Broncos know, has to prepare for his own offense too, just in case Peyton Manning isn't available.
"Scout team is always something that — I don't want to say enjoy, because you want to be the starter — but it's something I've always tried to make the most of," Osweiler said.
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