Entering his third season as the starting quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, Cam Newton will be used even more as the focal point for the offense not less. In his 32 starts, he has thrown for more yards than any player ever in their first two years. To be exact, he has passed for 7920 yards and 40 touchdowns. In addition, he has run for 1,447 yards on 253 carries averaging almost 8 yards a carry with 22 touchdowns. With numbers such as these, you can see why he will continue to be the main weapon in the attack. I argue that this will be an even more break out season for Cam based on a series of factor: his experience, there is no one like him, and the players on offense we have around him.
The first thing I want to tackle is his experience. He is entering his third year, pretty much having learned on the job how to be a NFL starting quarterback. It is his third year and he is no longer a kid at the game’s most important position leading grown men in their late 20′s and 30′s. He has pretty much seen how NFL defenses will play him and will be even more prepared to attack them. Having going thru the fires of two seasons, he will be expected to better equipped in managing his emotions because how he is acting does affect the team. According to Coach Shula via the Associate Press, “Probably the biggest thing for him is maintaining that balance… “Because everything around you during the football season is going to be up and down. The more you can continue to stay on an even plane and lead the group of guys around you, the more effective you are going to be as a quarterback.”
Cam is unique because there is no one playing the position like him in the league. Yes, there are other players who are mobile playing quarterback, with accurate strong arms also, but his sheer size and athleticism is what sets him apart. This player is 6’5 250 lbs, who can run like a running back and built like a defensive end. When he gets past the linebackers, there are not many defensive backs willing to take him on.
Here is a video that shows some of his exploits from last year:
The last reason I feel Cam Newton is the ultimate weapon for the panthers, are the players he has assembled around him. Along with DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart, Mike Tolbert, and now Kenjon Barner they make up a punishing running attack. Each back brings different abilities to the game. It will be up to Offensive Coordinator Mike Shula to find the perfect balance to make them more effective on the field. In the passing game, we have of course the ageless one, Steve Smith, Brandon Lafell, and new-comers to the team Domenik Hixon, and Ted Ginn. The offensive line has a good returning nucleus with Kalil and Gross leading the charges up front. The thing with the offense is, Cam Newton is not Eli or Peyton Manning. The Panthers would be foolish not to take advantage of his talent running and passing and try to turn him into just a pocket passer. According to a story on cnnsi.com, “Shula said Newton will still be used as a ball carrier but wouldn’t say how much the team will use the zone read option that Chudzinski used so frequently.”
This to me says we can expect to see Cam running the zone read and spread just as frequent or even more as we did last year. I understand the argument that Cam did better under the center last year, but that is where his year to year improvement comes in. Last year, defenses may have caught on to what we were doing but once we started mixing it up better we took off and made a run in the second part of the season. We were breaking in a new guard and once he got acclimated to the NFL things kind of took off. With another year under their belts, I see a ball control offense with a lot of play action. The zone read is not a fad, nor is it going away. Proof of that can be found that one of the Last Super Bowl’s participants ran the pistol and pretty much ate folks up in the playoffs in their run to that game.
Mobile quarterbacks who are dual threats to run and pass are the now and future. Pocket passers are the past. I am glad we have the prototype in #1 Cam Newton. What do you think Panther fans, disagree or agree, let us know in the comments section below.