Tag:Cam Newton
Posted on: August 26, 2011 8:50 am

Podcast: Newton vs. Dalton, Fouts on young QBs

Posted by Will Brinson & Ryan Wilson

Dan Fouts joins the show to talk about today's young quarterbacks -- Cam Newton, Tim Tebow, Terrelle Pryor -- as well as concussions and the new kickoff rule.

Will and Ryan also break down Thursday night's preseason action, discussing whether Newton looked good enough to take the starting gig in Carolina, and if Andy Dalton is improving as fast as it appeared -- or he just looked like it relative to Newton. (CBSSports.com's Clark Judge was at the game and he's not sure Newton's ready for what he's about to face.)

Then there's the ongoning Chris Johnson saga in Tennessee, the quarterback competion between Rex Grossman and John Beck in DC, whether the Ravens' offensive line can keep Joe Flacco upright, if the Steelers did the right thing in signing Lawrence Timmons before Troy Polamalu and much, much more.

Conversatin' starts … now (and while we have you, remember to subscribe to the podcast via iTunes). If you can't listen to the podcast below, download it here. And if you'd like to keep working while listening in your browser, pop that puppy out in a new tab here.

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Posted on: August 25, 2011 2:39 pm

Richardson says he doesn't want tattooed Newton

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Well, this is an interesting little video of Panthers owner Jerry Richardson talking to Charlie Rose on the set of his talk show Tuesday. In the short clip below, Rose asks Richardson about No. 1 pick Cam Newton and the process of vetting the quarterback.

Before I get into what Richardson’s comments say about Richardson or about his thoughts about a team owner’s relationship to his most marketable star, here’s what Richardson said:

“He was dressed perfectly. I said, ‘Do you have any tattoos.’ He said, ‘No sir, I don’t have any.’ I said, ‘Do you have any piercings?’ He said, ‘No sir.’ I said, ‘We want to keep it that way.”

Richardson continued with a story about Newton saying he, maybe, wanted to grow out his hair but that Newton’s father quickly put a stop to that.

“I said we want to keep no tattoos, no piercings, and I think you have a very nice hair cut.”

Rose then said Richardson sounded a bit like the no-nonsense Vince Lombardi.

“No,” Richardson said, “I just sound reasonable to me.”

I’m not quite sure how to take Richardson’s comments. On the face of it, he comes off … well … I’m not really sure how to put it. It feels vaguely wrong (or perhaps not so vaguely). On the YouTube clip, the description of the video describes Richardson as acting basically like a slave-owner.

I certainly don’t get that out of this clip.

But I do sense an owner who feels he has to create a marketing star out of Newton and that he realizes it’s probably easier to sell to the mainstream a guy who looks “presentable” without tattoos and piercings. I can’t imagine Richardson feels it’s his right to tell players how they should wear their hair* or whether he can hit up the tattoo parlor on his own time. I imagine, after all, there are plenty of Panthers who have tattoos and who have long hair and who have pierced body parts.

*Unless Richardson subscribes with the philosophy of George Steinbrenner.

But if Richardson wanted to come off looking like anything but a meddling owner who inserts himself into a players’ personal lives and their personal choices, he certainly doesn’t succeed here. If anything, I think, it's just kind of weird.   

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

Cam Newton very close to winning Panthers job

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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Posted on: August 19, 2011 7:36 pm

Panthers make Ryan Kalil highest-paid center

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

It’s pretty clear the Panther see something special in Ryan Kalil, franchise-tagging him before the lockout and promising to pay him $10.2 million just for this season.

Now, the Panthers won’t need to do that. In fact, Carolina is going to pay him even more money.

As Rapid Reporter Steve Reed writes, the Panthers have signed Kalil to a long-term deal, and according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the new contract is for six years and $49 million (including $28 million guaranteed).

In case you’re not sure Kalil is worth the kind of money that makes him the highest-paid center in the league, remember that he’s been a Pro Bowl selection the past two years and that Carolina needed to make a big investment to the person who is going to help protect -- and snap the ball to -- franchise player Cam Newton for the next few seasons.

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Posted on: August 19, 2011 7:35 pm
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Posted on: August 17, 2011 4:24 pm

Roundtable: Which rookie QB will help the most?

C. Newton could be one of the breakout rookie QBs this year (Getty).

Posted by Eye on Football staff

Well, we're a week into the preseason and that means we know everything about everyone. Or nothing at all. Whatever, we got our first glimpses of the NFL's newest rookie quarterbacks and that leads us to the question: What rookie quarterback will help his team the most?

Will Brinson: Go ahead and cue up about 15 "Panthers homer" comments in the next few paragraphs, but I don't care: Cam Newton. The guy's a freak-a-deak athlete with a firehose attached to his right shoulder and he's going to get a chance to produce. Unfortunately, that firehose thing can also be bad if Newton can't control his accuracy. And it's possible that Jimmy Clausen -- who looked better than terrible after he threw a pick six on his second passing attempt -- could be the safer option for Carolina. But Newton gets the fanbase amped and he's already shown exponential growth since we last saw him throwing passes. Putting him in the proverbial fire's the way to go and he'll be a difference maker for Carolina in both the stands and the field.

Josh Katzowitz: Will, I couldn't agree with you more. I don't know if Newton will help his team that much more on the field than Clausen would have -- I'm willing to bet heavily on the odds that there are going to be games when Newton is ABSOLUTELY terrible and people are going to be saying, "Yeah, buddy, the NFL is a little different than the limited offense you ran at Auburn, eh?" (these people, of course, will be Canadians who care way too much about SEC football) -- but as far as starpower is concerned, Newton is the one. I don't care if he privately looks at himself as an entertainer and an icon. He's got that huge smile and he's got that charisma, and eventually, the stink of whatever NCAA rules his dad might have violated will wash away.

That said, I don't think he's going to contend for any rookie of the year honors, because as the season goes along, defenses are going to begin to figure out Newton. Actually, I think the real answer to your question about which rookie will help his team the most will end up being Colin Kaepernick in San Francisco, assuming he stays healthy behind that poor offensive line. Alex Smith will continue to be Alex Smith, and midway through the season, Jim Harbaugh will call upon Kaepernick to replace Smith and win a few games for the 49ers. And I think he'll do it, especially in the NFC West, hastening Smith's departure (which, when you think about it, might be the single biggest reason how Kaepernick impacts the team). Newton will help his franchise the most, but Kaepernick will help his team the most.

Ryan Wilson
: We talked about it (at length, I might add) and Newton was impressive. I know, it's just one preseason game, but the guy's come a long way since February, the Auburn scandal, and the silly comments about being an entertainer and an icon.

And let's be honest, he's energized fans that had every reason to lose all hope and commit their energies to supporting NASCAR full time. That can't be understated. Winning is obviously the goal, but Panthers fans will find reasons for optimism if the Panthers can win five or six games. So in terms of therapeutic value for a downtrodden fan base, Newton is this season's most valuable QB.

A. Dalton could be the starting QB in Cincinnati (Getty). But if we're talking about a QB who has a chance to play and help his team win enough games to battle for a playoff spot, I'm going with Christian Ponder. Partly because Myron Rolle thinks he's a genius, but also because Donovan McNabb has become a punchline in recent years. How long until he's yanked in favor of Ponder? Four weeks? Remember: this is the guy who not only lost his job to Rex Grossman last season, he was eventually demoted to third string behind John Beck, he of four career starts, all losses, all coming in 2007.

Brinson: Well, we're one full turn around the table and the only person we haven't talked about is the only guy who's virtually guaranteed to start Week 1: Andy Dalton.

So, um, yeaaaaaaah.

What does that say about the Bengals? (And why do I have the feeling Josh will try to defend them?) I guess it says either that "We don't respect Andy Dalton," "We forgot about Andy Dalton," or "Even if Andy Dalton was Peyton Manning, he wouldn't be saving the Bengals from certain doom in 2011."

Perhaps it's all three?

Wilson: I didn't mention Andy Dalton for the same reason I don't think about paying my mortgage every day: if I ignore it, it don't exist. It's a coping mechanism. In Dalton's case, it means I'm not constantly reminded of what the 2011 season inevitably holds for him: pain, misery, disappointment -- all words that have become synonymous with the Bengals in recent years.

(Just look what the madness did to even-keeled Carson Palmer -- it drove him right into retirement in what should be the prime of his career. Think about that for a minute. Things were so god-awful in Cincinnati that Palmer would rather sit around the house doing crosswords than get caught up in tiger-striped maelstrom for another season.)

While we shouldn't put too much stock in first-ever preseason performances, Dalton's got his introduction to big-boy football from, fittingly, Ndamukong Suh. And I feel that was just a preview of things to come in 2011 (for both Dalton and Suh). So, yeah, it's pretty easy to be down on Dalton, more because he's a victim of circumstance. Which is why I don't want to think about it.

Brinson: Thanks for the reminder on the mortgage payment, jerk. Speaking of which, if there's one thing that the Panthers, 49ers, Titans, Vikings, Jaguars and Bengals have in common it's that they mortgaged their future on the talents of the 2011 NFL Draft class. With that in mind, let's wrap up this puppy up by making a list -- how do you gents rank the rookies in terms of impact on the 2011 season? Here's mine. Don't copy it.

1. Cam Newton
2. Blaine Gabbert
3. Andy Dalton
4. Christian Ponder
5. Jake Locker
6. Colin Kaepernick
7. Ryan Mallet
8. Terrelle Pryor

PonderWilson: No matter the list -- or the topic -- one thing is assured: Brinson will put Cam Newton at the top of it. Panthers fan solidarity and whatnot.

Back on Earth...

1. Christian Ponder (He'll be starting before the end of Sept.)
2. Colin Kaepernick (See above)
3. Blaine Gabbert (He'll be starting before Halloween)
4. Cam Newton (The next Jimmy Clausen? JOKE. Clearly, he's the next Chris Weinke.)
5. Andy Dalton (Must've been a serial killer in a previous life to get stuck with this fate.)
6. Jake Locker (Should only play if Hasselbeck gets injured.)
7. Ryan Mallett (Bill Belichick is a genius. That is all.)
8. Terrelle Pryor (But he's a first-round pick!)

Katzowitz: Just in case, Will needs a reminder: Here's my takedown of Mike Brown and Marvin Lewis in that ridiculous news conference they called to announce that Lewis would return for another season, and here's what I wrote about the Bengals' lack of a practice bubble. I lived in Cincinnati for six years, but believe me when I say that I think the Bengals are an incompetent mess (though, personally, I think Mike Brown is a nice man).

My list (the correct one):

1. Colin Kaepernick (If Mike Singletary thought about replacing Alex Smith with David Carr (!) last season, Jim Harbaugh shouldn't have a problem replacing Smith with Kaepernick)
2. Christian Ponder (Because he's better than Rex Grossman, and since Grossman is better than Donovan McNabb ...)
3. Cam Newton (How disturbing would it be if Clausen actually won the starting job?)
4. Andy Dalton (He still has Cedric Benson to lean on)
5. Blaine Gabbert (I'm not sure he can beat out David Garrard, and I'm not sure Garrard will be bad enough this year to warrant starting Gabbert)
6. Jake Locker (Locker will get tons of help from Hasselbeck)
7. Ryan Mallett (He won't even beat out Brian Hoyer to be Brady's backup)
8. Terrelle Pryor (I don't know, maybe, he could be an effective NFL TE?)

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Posted on: August 17, 2011 2:14 pm

Cam Newton will start Friday vs. Dolphins

NewtonPosted by Josh Katzowitz

Cam Newton, it’s now your time to be in the spotlight.

OK, you’ve already been in the spotlight quite a bit these past few months. Let’s rephrase. Cam Newton, it’s now your time to make an NFL start.

That was the word Wednesday from Panthers coach Ron Rivera, who said after practice that Newton will start Friday’s game vs. the Dolphins.

That’s via Rapid Reporter Steve Reed, who quotes Rivera saying, “It's pretty much following the line of what we had planned throughout training camp, and that's to go back and forth and back and forth with our guys. It's a good opportunity."

That said, Rivera doesn’t know who will start Carolina’s season opener against the Cardinals. He’s not ready to make THAT decision quite yet. But he started Jimmy Clausen in the preseason opener and then brought Newton in to work with the first-teamers midway through the half, and now, he’s going to do the exact opposite thing Friday.

“We want to make sure everybody gets a chance to play and work with the guys and keep that competition going,” Rivera said.

In that first game, Clausen completed 4 of 7 passes for 69 yards, a touchdown and an interception while Newton’s accuracy was off (he was 8 for 19 for 134 yards). He’s hoping he can make a better impression when he’s the first Panthers quarterback to take the field Friday. And perhaps even solidify his chances of starting the regular season?

“Just know that we have a plan and we're sticking to it,” Rivera said. “And as we go through the process sometime next week, we'll have a real good feel for what we're going to do as we go into the regular season.”

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Posted on: August 16, 2011 10:39 am
Edited on: August 16, 2011 11:02 am

Rivera to name Panthers starter by Bengals game

Posted by Will Brinson

In the third week of the preseason, the Carolina Panthers will face off against the Cincinnati Bengals. Who'll be starting at quarterback for that game isn't just anyone's guess -- it's everyone's guess.

That's because, according to head coach Ron Rivera, the starter for that game will be the Panthers starter for the regular season.

Some folks are saying it should/will be Cam Newton. Others believe it should/will be Jimmy Clausen. There's a tiny Ron Paul-like contingent screaming for Derek Anderson. (OK, I haven't heard them, but surely they're out there.)

For now, Rivera is staying mum on what he's thinking. But give him credit, because he really does seem to have the "only speak in vagaries" thing that was so popular for head coaches prior to Rex Ryan bursting on the scene.

"It's all the same. We're going to continue to do that until we make that decision," Rivera said, per Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer.
Panthers Preseason

See? What does that even mean? Nothing is what.

Speaking of meaning nothing, don't read too much into Newton likely starting the second week of the preseason against the Dolphins. I mentioned this yesterday when I hopped on the horn with our friend Bob Haynie of 105.7 the Fan, but you can go ahead and mark Newton to take the field with the first team during the upcoming trip to South Beach.

Rivera's said all along that his intention is to divide the "practice reps" available on a strict 50/50 split between Newton and Clausen; that Clausen started and then Newton saw the majority of playing time against the Giants should be indicative of exactly what will happen in the next game, only in reverse.

Our Panthers Rapid Reporter Steve Reed confirms that Newton is indeed running with the first-teamers in practice, which is a logical lead-in to the fact that he'll start for the Panthers on Friday.

As for who'll take the first offensive snap against the Bengals, well, that's still up in the air.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com