Panthers: An offseason mistake may change Cam Newton’s play

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) Andrew Norwell
(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) Andrew Norwell /

 The loss of Andrew Norwell may have major repercussions for the Carolina Panthers..

Friday, Zack Kruse at Bleacher Report put together a slideshow that named every National Football League team’s biggest offseason mistake. For the Carolina Panthers, losing Andrew Norwell made the list. Kruse hit the nail on the head with his assessment of the Panthers loss including an excerpt that may sting a bit for Panthers fans.

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"This is a good example of compounding mistakes. The Panthers overpaid for left tackle Matt Kalil in 2017, which left inadequate room for Norwell on the payroll. If given the option to have either Kalil or Norwell, the choice would be easy."

I agree here. Losing Norwell was a huge blow to the Carolina Panthers offensive line. Yes, I know Norwell had a hefty salary and that was a big factor in him leaving in free agency. The fact of the matter is, Cam Newton may have to change his game due to Norwell’s departure.

It’s not as simple as “Norwell left, Cam has to be more careful in the pocket.” Norwell was one of the best at his position. Now, the team has to try out Taylor Moton, Tyler Larsen and Greg Van Roten throughout the course of workouts to see who can replace Norwell. None of them have the skillset Norwell does, so unless they have a strong preseason, Newton may have to adjust his game a bit.

Norv Turner’s new offensive strategy makes even more sense. In essence, one of the things Turner wants to do is have the quarterback get the ball out of his hands quicker. In particular, he wants to make Newton more of a pocket passer. Although that may have been a part of his offensive philosophy without a weakened offensive line, having Newton stay in the pocket makes even more sense now. Moton, Larsen, and Van Roten still have some work to do before they can be successful, full-time lineman.

Next: Turner offense more than quality quarterback play

Although I said making Newton a pocket passer would be limiting and restricting him, it makes sense. The Carolina Panthers are feeling the loss of Andrew Norwell and now they have to modify another player’s game to make up for it.