SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Brock Osweiler might have the most difficult job of any of the players preparing for Super Bowl 50.
That's because he's preparing as two very different players: himself and Cam Newton.
The first role is a bit easier, because it entails being ready to step in as the Denver Broncos' quarterback Sunday in case the starter, Peyton Manning, should miss any snaps. After all, Osweiler did make seven starts during the 2015 season while Manning was sidelined with a foot injury. Being a backup is something familiar and natural because Osweiler is doing what he has done for four seasons with the Broncos.
The second job? Not so much. Osweiler has been playing the part of Newton in practice for the sake of Denver's defense.
He's doing his best to replicate what the Carolina Panthers' quarterback does, but it's almost impossible because no one can do what Newton does ... except Newton. Although at 6-foot-8 and 240 pounds, Osweiler has the comparable size to the 6-5, 248-pound Newton, he doesn't have Newton's incredible speed or elusiveness or ability to barrel over defenders. He doesn't have his exceptionally talented throwing arm or any of the other skills that make Newton the best quarterback in the game and the likely recipient of the NFL's Most Valuable Player Award.
“It is extremely difficult," Osweiler told reporters. "Cam Newton is one of the best players in the National Football League and he is one of those guys that I don’t think you can simulate. But at the same time, I am very prideful in giving our defense a great look on scout team. I have done my absolute best to give those guys a great look over the past couple weeks.”
So, too, has 6-4 Trevor Siemian, the Broncos' third-string quarterback.
However, as defensive end DeMarcus Ware points out, they simply aren't fast enough to give the defense a true feel for what it will be like to go against Newton.
"So you probably stick a running back back there to let him run around a little bit," Ware said. "Actually, we've been doing that (with the fastest running backs on practice squad), because (Newton's) one of those fast-type guys that you can't simulate that. He's one of one.
"And everybody that's rushing, we'll string the play out to where the running back will run all the across the field and everybody chases him. He'll run all the way back to the other side of the field and everybody chases him, because it's going to take those type of plays. We have to get our wind up to take him out."