Blog Entry

When will Rivera name Cam Newton the starter?

Posted on: August 27, 2011 5:36 pm
Edited on: August 27, 2011 5:37 pm
NewtonPosted by Josh Katzowitz

Finally we have our answer. Finally, it’s been put to rest. Cam Newton is officially the Panthers starting quarterback … for the fourth preseason game.

That’s according to Rapid Reporter Steve Reed, who also writes that Carolina coach Ron Rivera still hasn’t said whether Newton will start the season-opener vs. the Cardinals.

Yet, Reed -- like most everyone else who follows the NFL -- appears to know what eventually will happen. He writes: “Newton will start the season opener at Arizona although, quite frankly, he’s still raw and not really ready. But he’s a better option than (Jimmy) Clausen, who still hasn’t shown the ability to make plays and is slow getting the ball out.”

Newton vs. Clausen
It seems pretty clear that Newton, who will start Thursday night’s preseason game vs. the Steelers, would have to suffer some kind of major meltdown in order to lose his hold on the starting job. And considering Clausen’s knee is banged up at the moment, Newton’s only other competition is Derek Anderson.* Now, all Newton has to do is throw a touchdown pass or, you know, convert a third down attempt (neither has occurred yet this preseason).

*Wouldn’t you rather watch Newton flounder around out there than be forced to watch Anderson do anything?

Which leads us to the conclusion that eventually (probably before the season opener), Rivera will be forced to tap Newton as the starting quarterback. But a word of caution. As’s Pat Yasinskas points out, Newton would be the first Carolina opening-day rookie starter since Chris Weinke in 2001.

And we all remember how well his career went after that.

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Since: Jun 8, 2011
Posted on: August 27, 2011 6:54 pm

When will Rivera name Cam Newton the starter?

While I am a Panthers fan, I am not very optimistic about this season.  My fear is we get the first draft pick again next year and spend it on our third quarterback in three years, while ignoring the fact that our offensive line hasn't opened a hole in two seasons.  Cam Newton may turn out to be a very good QB in the future, but behind that line, he is risking a career-ending injury.

Don't even get me going on our D-Line and corners.  Unless there is some serious effort in re-building our defense, Cam will need to run for 100 yards in every game and complete 70% of his passes.   Short of that  is spot on.  We were 1-15 the season Weinke was our starter.

Since: Apr 3, 2008
Posted on: August 27, 2011 6:09 pm

When will Rivera name Cam Newton the starter?

Oh, and by the way, this author is wrong when he writes that Cam hasn't converted on a third down attempt this preseason. Maybe he didn't watch the preseason game against the Bengals when Cam ran for a TD on third down or when he passed to Legaduu Nanee on third down for a conversion.

Since: Feb 24, 2010
Posted on: August 27, 2011 6:08 pm

When will Rivera name Cam Newton the starter?

Very logical thought process.  Don't let KLM11 see those comments, though.  He wanted Newton banned from the NFL before he was ever drafted because Reggie Bush screwed over USC.

Since: Apr 3, 2008
Posted on: August 27, 2011 6:04 pm

When will Rivera name Cam Newton the starter?

I'm a Panthers fan who is cautiously optimistic about Cam Newton's future, but as much as he has the ability to make big plays with his legs, he has missed some wide open receivers. Obviously, he's young and needs to develop, so why not let Derek Anderson start a few games and let Cam watch? I know that's not popular, but Jimmy Clausen is scared to death to throw it down the field and make a mistake, and again, Cam needs time to develop. Even with all the depth added during free agency, there are still plenty of holes (see the D-line and CB's), and the Panthers' schedule is the hardest in the NFL. I don't see us winning more than 5 games, and it might be worse for Newton's future to come in, make a lot of mistakes, and have his confidence go down. Then again, if he starts every game, I definitely won't complain because he's going to be thrown into the fire at some point.

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