Before the 2011 draft, analysts all over were wondering what the Panthers would do with that pick. Maybe take someone to beef up that defense line. Maybe a top receiver, lineman or pretty much anyone to fill one of our one hundred needs. But then people started to realize Jerry Richardson was going to take Cam Newton, and he was going to be that franchise quarterback the Panthers have so long yearned for and been without.
Then there was the lockout shortened season with a new coaching staff. Everyone said there wasn’t enough time for Cam to prepare for the season. Then there was talk of transitioning from his spread option offense at Auburn that wasn’t very complex to a real NFL game plan. And yet he proved them all wrong from week 1 with record setting performances, offensive rookie of the year honors, and an NFL rushing TD record for a quarterback.
But here we are in year two of Newton’s Law and people are already starting to doubt again. Fans and especially sports analyst are coming back with many of the same questions that they had before he was drafted. Can he make the big throws, lead this small market franchise to prominence, be the leader that this team needs? I am sick of hearing about the “sophomore slump”. Of course teams are going to figure out Cam’s tendencies and adjust, well now it’s Cam’s turn.
Newton has proven he has a strong work ethic and he takes his mistakes very personally. He needs to work on some mechanics, some footwork and being more aware of other receivers not named Smith. But he will do these things because he is a winner. People don’t always understand that his frustration is from his passion to win. Does he need to keep some things in check to show his team mates that he is ready to lead and lead by example? Definitely. But this is a player who did not lose at the college or junior college level, and now he’s 7-14 in the pros. As fans we must continue to support our team’s field general as long as he is working to become the best, and leave the doubts to the analysts. So that when he proves them wrong (again), we can sit back and say “told ya so”.