Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now
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.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Comments

Since: Dec 1, 2008
Posted on: August 22, 2011 8:59 am
 

Cam Newton very close to winning Panthers job

Have you seen Cam play yet? If so you would see that he is far from overwhelmed. He just needs reps & he isn't going to get them on the sideline. I also think you are under estimating the Panthers talent level. The Panthers will probably finish with 5-7 wins this year. Obviously not playoff level but certainly not worst team in the league either.



Since: May 4, 2008
Posted on: August 22, 2011 8:38 am
 

Cam Newton very close to winning Panthers job

Clausen improving everyday....where? Please point that out to me....

Handoffs.



Since: May 4, 2008
Posted on: August 21, 2011 10:04 pm
 

Cam Newton very close to winning Panthers job

This is a good decision for no other reason than the fact that Cam Newton is just way more interesting to watch than any other Panther QB. Cam is a boy and is not a natural NFL QB, and will have to work very hard and study and learn much more to become the kind of mature, psychologically dominant, quick-thinking man it takes to lead and NFL offense. But he certainly has all the physical tools to be a great NFL QB. I watched the entire 1st half of the Panthers-Dolphins game and turned the game off after only 2 possessions of Jimmy Claussen. Claussen is just boring as hell to watch. Football is about winning first, but if you can't win, at least be entertaining. The Panthers will have to get Newton some damn WRs, because the guys they have now will not cut it. I'm talking WRs in the 2nd and 3rd round next draft. Steve Smith really isn't that good anymore, and I don't expect much out of him his old ass will probably get hurt again at some point this season. The offensive line also looks terrible. The Panthers will have to figure out how to build a decent o-line in the next couple seasons, or Cam will never develop into a decent QB. They will definately have to rely way too much on the running game this year and will suck this year. Of course, the Panthers D just sucks out loud. Their D-Line is the biggest joke in franchise history.<br />




Since: May 4, 2008
Posted on: August 21, 2011 9:59 pm
 

Cam Newton very close to winning Panthers job

lThis is a good decision for no other reason than the fact that Cam Newton is just way more interesting to watch than any other Panther QB. Cam is a boy and is not a natural NFL QB, and will have to work very hard and study and learn much more to become the kind of mature, psychologically dominant, quick-thinking man it takes to lead and NFL offense. But he certainly has all the physical tools to be a great NFL QB.<br /><br />I watched the entire 1st half of the Panthers-Dolphins game and turned the game off after only 2 possessions of Jimmy Claussen. Claussen is just boring as hell to watch. Football is about winning first, but if you can't win, at least be entertaining. <br /><br />The Panthers will have to get Newton some damn WRs, because the guys they have now will not cut it. I'm talking WRs in the 2nd and 3rd round next draft. Steve Smith really isn't that good anymore, and I don't expect much out of him his old ass will probably get hurt again at some point this season. The offensive line also looks terrible. The Panthers will have to figure out how to build a decent o-line in the next couple seasons, or Cam will never develop into a decent QB. They will definately have to rely way too much on the running game this year and will suck this year.<br /><br />Of course, the Panthers D just sucks out loud. Their D-Line is the biggest joke in franchise history.<br />




Since: Jan 11, 2007
Posted on: August 21, 2011 9:24 pm
 

Cam Newton very close to winning Panthers job

Couldnt have said it better my self Lathon



Since: Jun 16, 2007
Posted on: August 21, 2011 9:23 pm
 

Cam Newton very close to winning Panthers job

Anyone who would support Jimmy Clausen to start obviously hasn't seen him play.  He is a frightened little child out there with a weak arm, zero pocket presence, horrible footwork, and he demands zero respect from teammates.  He is god awful.



Since: Jan 11, 2007
Posted on: August 21, 2011 9:23 pm
 

Cam Newton very close to winning Panthers job

Clausen improving everyday....where? Please point that out to me....



Since: Sep 28, 2006
Posted on: August 21, 2011 7:44 pm
 

NoooooooooO!

Please not Newton. He's terrible. Clausen looked way better than this arrogant chump. He underthrew and overthrew every receiver more than 10 yards away and half of them 5 yards away. If it weren't for the TE and WR making tremendous catches he would have had <50% of the yardage he's gained so far.
Positives:
- Strong arm. He can throw it 50 yards flat footed.
- Reasonably fast

Negatives:
- Poor pocket awareness
- Holds the ball too long
- Tunnel vision
- Innacurate passing
- He's having a hard time learning the playbook

Very few QB's ever do well in their 1st year. Peyton Manning threw 28 Int's (to 26 TD) his rookie year. Clausen is the real deal and improving every day while Newton never will be.



Since: Nov 30, 2010
Posted on: August 21, 2011 7:17 pm
 

Cam Newton very close to winning Panthers job

AS THERE TOP PICK, HE SHOULD BE THE STARTER.SURE HE HAS TO GO THUR GROWING PAINS BUT THIS IS CAMS TEAM.CAM LOOKED GOOD AND OLSEN SHOULD BE HIS GO TO GUY. STEVE SMITH ALSO SHOULD SHIN ONCE AGAIN



Since: Jul 29, 2011
Posted on: August 21, 2011 6:47 pm
 

Cam Newton very close to winning Panthers job

This is a no win situation for Cam Newton.  With only a few weeks of training camp as a rookie it's unspeakable to even let him start.  There's no way that the Panthers can expect to win 1 game this season!  It's not Madden Football!  There's absolutely no freakin way that he's going to be able to learn the play book and execute plays once the season starts.  But maybe this is the Panthers master plan to get the first pick in next years draft!  WTF are they thinking!


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