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Blog Entry

Cam Newton very close to winning Panthers job

Posted on: August 21, 2011 5:30 pm
Edited on: August 21, 2011 11:26 pm
 
Posted by Ryan Wilson

Quarterback Cam Newton, the Pathers first-overall pick in April, got his first NFL start in Carolina's Week 2 preseason game against Miami. He played the entire first half and completed 7 of 14 passes for 66 yards.

And while Newton is going through many of the growing pains rookie quarterbacks experience as they transition from college to the NFL (the speed of play, better competition, more complex defenses, etc.), there was still reason to believe that he could earn the starting job in the regular season. Partly because the Panthers were just 2-14 a season ago, but also because the organization feels that Newton is the future, even though they drafted Jimmy Clausen in the second round of the 2010 draft.

Well, various reports Sunday indicate that that the future is now in Carolina.

CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Steve Reed writes that "Newton will be Carolina's regular-season starter providing he doesn't suffer a complete meltdown Thursday night against the Bengals. 'It will give us an opportunity to see how he'll handle the whole game experience, and we'll go from there,' Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said."

NFL Network analyst and former Raiders front office man Michael Lombardi tweets that "Newton will start and play 3 quarters [in Thursday's preseason game], leaving little doubt he will be the opening day starter for the Panthers."

Finally, the Charlotte Observer's Scott Fowler weighs in on his blog:
Coach Ron Rivera edged in that direction Sunday afternoon without going all the way, saying Newton will start and play the first three quarters in the Panthers' third exhibition -- Thursday night at Cincinnati. Jimmy Clausen will likely play all or most of the fourth quarter.

In other words, if Newton doesn't mess things up too badly, he's the starter from here on out. But Rivera isn't saying that yet -- he's hedging a little, which is probably smart given that he doesn't have to make this decision yet. The Panthers will use this week as a dress rehearsal for a real game -- actually game-planning for Cincinnati, which they haven't done in the first two preseason games.
Fowler points out that in roughly four quarters of preseason football over two games, Newton has yet to lead the Panthers on a touchdown drive or convert a single third down.

But at this stage of the proceedings that's not really the point. Newton looks like an NFL QB. And we don't mean that he's 6-5, 240 pounds, and has a howitzer for a right arm. We're talking about the way he carries himself while on the field, in the huddle, under center and staring down a pass rush; Newton seldom appears overwhelmed. Relatively speaking, he seems pretty comfortable, and that will only improve over time.

Fair or not, we never got that feeling with Clausen last season. Perhaps he was thrust into an untenable situation. Or maybe he was overdrafted. Whatever the case, the franchise's future rests with Newton, and it sounds like Rivera isn't going to waiting around to install him as the starter.

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Comments

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 17, 2012 12:41 am
 

Cam Newton very close to winning Panthers job



hgtrerte
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 26, 2011 12:45 pm
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tomlye
Since: Nov 28, 2011
Posted on: November 29, 2011 9:34 am
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Tomly
Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: October 24, 2011 4:43 am
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Tomly
Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: October 24, 2011 4:40 am
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Since: Sep 12, 2009
Posted on: October 24, 2011 1:51 am
 

Cam Newton very close to winning Panthers job

OK, this is an OLD thread. But I have to come back and say for the record that I was wrong. I didn't think that Newton was the right choice--I thought he would only sink the Panthers deeper. Did I say I was wrong? Wow! What a refreshing surprise he's been. Yes, he's made rookie mistakes, but the Panthers are in every game and you've got to think that Rivera/Newton are the reasons. Steve Smith is having another great year and the running game looks better too. Love watchin em! 



Since: Dec 10, 2007
Posted on: August 22, 2011 2:43 pm
 

Cam Newton very close to winning Panthers job

every time I read a post regarding the Panthers and Cam Newton it's virtually the same....predominantly haters who know little or nothing about the Panthers because they feel they are too sorry to watch, yet great fodder for judgement....for those who think the Panthers have no talent you might want to consider the fact that the Panthers probably have the best RB depth in football with Williams, Stewart and Goodsen. The offensive line has 2 Pro-bowlers in Kalil and Gross and one of the best young LB corps in football with Beason, Davis and Anderson. Last season was dismal because the Panthers started a rookie QB who, frankly never should have been put in that situation. Two rookie WR's, a backfield hurt by injuries to the top two players, Williams and Stewart. and a dominant runblocking right tackle who never played a single down. That's not saying that Newton will be better this season, but he brings more to the table than Clausen. Better arm, more mobility and a confidence that never came out in Clausen. Easy to understand when opposing teams put 8 men in the box on every play and dare you to pass because his primary receiver is always double teamed and the two rookies were no threat. At least Shockey and Olsen bring a potential 2nd receiver into the mix. If Otah is healthy(that's a big if)then the running game can make a great comeback which will hopefully free up the passing game...the Panthers are hardly the worst team in football, but I realize they have a tough season ahead of them...a new head coach, defensive coach and offensive coordinator, the leagues hardest schedule in the leagues hardest division doesn't help either....at least give Newton an opportunity to prove himself before labeling him a bust before he even starts the season....he might just prove a few people wrong.



Since: Sep 12, 2009
Posted on: August 22, 2011 11:27 am
 

Cam Newton very close to winning Panthers job

1. I hope the Panthers do well this year with whomever they start at QB
2. I don't know Cam Newton or Jimmy Clausen personally
3. The Panthers were bad in several facets of the game last season

Given that preamble, I was disappointed in the Panthers' draft. I know, they HAD to take Cam Newton; he was the obvious first-overall pick. But he didn't really solve the biggest problem the Panthers had.

The O-Line was banged up most of the season last year which led to inconsistent play all around offensively. Without a solid O-Line, you can't run effectively, you can't pass effectively...shoot, you can't even PUNT effectively.

Steve Smith has been the #1 receiver without a solid #2 option for too long. He's getting older. He's probably only a #2 receiver himself at this point. He definitely struggles under the constant double-teams.

Jimmy Clausen struggled to do ANYTHING last season. But what rookie QB wouldn't have? His best WR was double-teamed. He didn't have enough time to check to his 3rd and 4th reads. The inconsistent O-Line made every snap an adventure.

SHOULDA/COULDA: First choice, improve the O-Line, but there were no DOMINANT lineman that you could justify spending the first overall pick to take. Second choice, give Clausen AND Smith help in the form of AJ Green, arguably the best WR available in the draft and as sure a lock as there can be in the NFL to be a #1 receiver someday for whatever team drafted him. Third choice, Cam Newton. The safe pick. Who will fault you in the years to come if he doesn't pan out? He was the obvious #1.



Since: Sep 17, 2007
Posted on: August 22, 2011 11:11 am
 

Cam Newton very close to winning Panthers job

Carolina may be making a big mistake if they throw Newton into the fire too early. The Panthers obviously are in rebuilding mode and have no chance at competing this year, so since they have nothing to gain other than confidence for the future, why not let Cam sit back and observe how things work in the NFL without putting all the pressure on him immediately? Then midway through the year when the Panthers are 2-7, you can ease Newton into the mix as there will be less expectations of him than if he were expected to step in right away and be Superman. The QB position in the NFL isn't like hockey or basketball where a guy can come in at age 20 and be an immediate star, the learning curve is much too great and historically, even QB's that go on to become great struggled in their rookie years a la Peyton Manning. The Jimmy Clausen expirment reaffirmed that last year when he was put in too soon and it killed whatever confidence and trading value he may have had. Not to say Newton's personality will respond the same way to adversity, but I don't think Carolina should make the same mistake though it looks like they probably will.


Gipper10
Since: Oct 31, 2006
Posted on: August 22, 2011 10:25 am
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