Cam Newton returned to the Carolina Panthers lineup as the Carolina Panthers took on the Jacksonville Jaguars as they prepare for the 2017 NFL season. Newton was impressive in the limited time he saw. Enough so to quell some of the anxiety Panthers fans are having over the starting quarterback. Backup quarterback is another question entirely. But as John Fox used to say, it is what it is.
The weather was dismal. The turf was drenched. Here are a few things I saw as I roamed the sidelines.
Cam Newton and Ron Rivera always stand together when the national anthem is performed. Ron at attention with his hand over his heart, as any military brat would. Cam instead chooses to take a moment in prayer and quiet reflection.
Once the Carolina Panthers offense takes the field, a tradition for Newton is to again say a prayer at the line just before he takes the first snap of the game. With the chaos and commotion circling around him, he is able to find a quiet moment within himself. If only I could do that while stuck in traffic.
Running back Jonathan Stewart ran for 41 yards on 4 carries, numbers that any running back in the NFL would be proud to recite. Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera was pleased with Stewarts’s effort.
“One of the things we talked about is the benefit of us being able to play physical,” Ron Rivera said. “We talked about it, we stressed it all week and we went out and executed. I was really pleased with that.”