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Found 28 results

  1. For some reason, I thought Cam was good to go. Near 100%. Then the announcers mention that Cam says he's at 70%. That's not close to 100%. That's two-thirds of the way there. What did I miss?
  2. I've pretty much said continually over the last year that Ron Rivera, Mike Shula and Cam Newton (and Dave Gettleman who is now gone) would have to get their acts together for us to get back to championship calibre. Well, things were extremely shaky on the offensive side of the ball for the first three games, but Cam being a bit out of sorts and not yet fully prepared---at least from a physical standpoint---obviously affected those games more than many of us know. That, along with the fact that Shula was still formulating exactly how to incorporate Christian McCaffrey into the offense, dealing with the loss of Olsen, and getting his feet up under himself in general caused the offense to be very much disjointed the first few weeks. Now, things are coming together. After reading David Newton's article today on Ed Dickson, I feel that the lightbulb may actually be turning on for the three most important people who can affect this offense. Though the article is indeed about Dickson, the most important thing for me was this: "Ed is a really good football player that we might have overlooked a bit." Just the fact that Rivera believed in Dickson, where most didn't, is good. The fact that he knew and basically admitted that he and Shula "overlooked" a player that obviously has the skills to produce in a notable manner is great. You see, it may mean that they will finally trust and get the players on the field that can make some plays, and actually get them a little more involved in the regular flow of the offense. Perhaps injuries won't be the only time we see guys who are essentially role players given an opportunity to make a legitimate impact. So, yeah, Dixon's skills as a pass catching TE were overlooked, but hopefully not anymore. We may need him at some point, even after Olsen returns. The more weapons the better, right? Sometimes you can't afford to overlook anyone on offense because the opposition is basically "giving that person to you." For the last couple of games, Cam seems to have grasped that concept, "Take what the defense gives you!" He is spreading the ball around with great success, and that's when Cam is at his best. Isn't it "funny" that now that Rivera and Shula are giving guys an opportunity to make an impact---not "overlooking" them as in the case of Big Ed, and/or "using them incorrectly" as in the case of Devin Funchess, and Cam is actually "seeing" these guys that the offense is taking off? I've said it several times during this season, we have what it takes to get to the dance this season, and I'm not accepting anything less. So far, everyone seems to be answering the call. Sure, Rivera and Shula are still philosophically conservative (or so it would seem), they seem to be learning---maybe even adapting as time goes on. Some of you may not be able to see it, but I thought I'd at least try and point these little victories out. Perhaps greater victories are in store for the future.
  3. It’s pretty amazing what a full week of Practice will do for not just #1, but for the whole offense. It’s safe to say having Cam healthy & practicing should be the number one priority when considering his off-season recovery plan.
  4. ev·o·lu·tion :the gradual development of something, especially from a simple to a more complex form: Let's keep that in mind moving forward. We have heard it for the past couple of years. Evolution. We have to evolve as a team in order to see our expectations become reality. Ole' Ronnie boy has stated it over and over again. Our offense must evolve. But lets take a more in depth look to what the staff means when they say this. They are pointing directly at the Evolution of Cameron Newton. And one way to learn more on how we do this is to pay attention to what Franchise we look up to. For some time now or FO has been obsessed with the steel city. Jerry Richardson has always stated he wanted this franchise to be in the mold of the Steelers. And lets be honest with 6 superbowl wins, thats not a bad one to emulate. So lets delve a little into the evolution of the Pittsburgh Steelers and more recently with Big Ben and the change from Bruce Arians to Todd Haley. And if I recall correctly, this has been talked about via some of the regulars on this board. But the knee jerk is real with a sizeable percentage of this fan base and I felt it should be addressed. Ill keep it as short as I can. Early on in Ben Roethlisberger's career with the Steelers, Big Ben could take a punch. His stature and measurables where unmatched at the time and Bruce Arians took advantage. He aired it out. Subjecting Ben to a ton of hits. And there are stats to back it up which I pulled from the link below which is a good read on this topic : 1. Defenders sacked big ben on 9.47% of his dropbacks or 215 times between 2007 to 2011. Umm thats alot. 2. In 2011, he was sacked 40 times or 7.8% of dropbacks. And despite engineering a succesful offensive showing in superbowl XLIII, Art Rooney pressured Tomlin to give Bruce the boot. But Why? Why would you let go of a coordinator who built one of the most explosive offenses the game has seen. Other than the fact that year ben was put on his butt a wopping 50 times, Rooney felt that Arians didnt run the ball enough. And although Tomlin didnt immediately jump on board he would later see the difference. Now dont get me wrong, Arians is a genius when it comes to scheme, and running an effective air raid but the problem with this is it subjected his pro bowl QB to unnecessary punishment. Art Rooney, looking at the long haul, knew that they had to incorporate a more solid run game to keep Ben from well, dying. So, eventually the move was made. They let go of Arians, brought in Haley and looking back EVERYONE prospered from the decision. Bruce had done well in Arizona, and Pittsburgh has been better off. More importantly though, Ben was protected and the offense stayed explosive and an argument can most definitely be made that it is even more so under Haley. Here are some numbers that proves this: Sacks. Sacks/Drop. YPG. Td% Bruce: 215 9.5% 248 5.02% Todd: 125 5.9% 288 5.10% The offense put up more yards and more points per game under Haley than Arians all the while keeping Big Ben from being kicked in the sack. Pun intended. Seriously though, the sack numbers came down significantly. Which gets me back to my point, Evolution. Haley has been on record stating their first objective when he was hired was to allow Ben to be Ben, but also find ways to do so without subjecting him to so much pressure. They did this by incorporating more check downs and short yardage pass plays to get the ball out of Bens hands quicker (which to be fair to Bruce, did tend to hold the ball to long) as opposed to Arians more vertical attack to complement a solid running game. He also stated that he knew it would be a process. Over time the Steelers have boasted a very potent offense, and Ben has stayed pretty healthy extending his career some years. And that same process is taking place with our Panthers. Look at the offseason for example. It tells you everything you need to know just by looking at the personnel that we have brought in. Mccaffrey, Samuel, Kalil, Moton, Shepherd and finding ways to utilize Byrd. All these guys were brought in to help Cam evolve, CMC especially. By bringing those guys in it allows cam to have that check down option that guys like Rodgers with Cobb, Matt Ryan who had his best season last year had Freeman, Big Ben has had Bell and it sickens me to put it this way but the Best Qb to ever caudle a centers balls, Tom Brady has had Welker, Edelman, Amendola, COOKs and this list goes on and on and well you get the point. But back to what I was saying, All those guys have check downs if they get under pressure. While Stewart is good catching the ball out of the backfield, lets be real he cant find space and attack as well as guys like CMC. Hes a power back. And up until now Cam hasnt had a reliable option to CHECK DOWN to if he is pressured therefore taking more hits scrambling to make something happen. So when you guys complain about using Mccaffrey as "only" a check down option as if we are always supposed to use him in exotic packages that somehow give him one on one matchups vs d tackles. I say, do your home work. Simple is not always a bad thing. And as we EVOLVE(please refer to definition above, there is a key word in the defintion I believe it was GRADUAL), I think we will see more packages to get him in space. But for now, having him as a check down and watching the way the niners felt the need to have 2 and 3 guys around him at all times, I think will open a ton of options for us offensively. And more importantly protect our franchise qb and let superman be Clark Kent every once in a while. So lets calm your tits, and enjoy the show. Panthers football is back Baby! http://steelcurtainrising.com/2016/03/steelers-todd-haley-vs-bruce-arians-ben-roethlisberger-passing-statistics-performance-sacks-interceptions-whisenhunt.html/ Oh and sorry, Im not really one to include pictures. So you may need your reading glasses. But just to appease those that need a visual. Which of these pictures do we want to see more of? I think I would take the latter.
  5. Yes. Another article dealing with ranking QBs into tiers and how they perform above the rest. A subject beaten and butchered to the point of no return as sports writers everywhere look to make easy money on simplistic hot takes. However, unlike Colin Cowherd's recent "QB tiers" list, this particular author backs up everything he says. This is a worthwhile read. I recommend everyone take a look at this. The part I'm highlighting is only one out of the 32 QBs listed on here.My comments will be in "quotes" http://presnapreads.com/2017/08/29/nfl-quarterback-tiers-evaluations-ahead-of-the-2017-season/ Cam Newton Tier: 1 Rank: 2 R k = Rank In Comparison To Other NFL QBs #-# = Accuracy between x and y yards Cam Newton’s MVP season wasn’t a fluke. He carried that form into the beginning of the 2016 season and through the midpoint of the regular season. Then, with the suddenness of a blown tire, Newton’s arm died. He could no longer physically put the ball where he wanted to put it. A quarterback who could previously flick the ball 60 yards with ease was now watching his passes float no matter how much effort he put into the throw. The worst game of his career occurred in Week 17 against the Buccaneers, Newton threw seven of his 27 interceptable passes for the season in that game. Each a result of his dysfunctional shoulder sapping his arm strength. It was obvious that Newton’s shoulder was badly injured long before the offseason surgery. Because of how Newton failed, it doesn’t make sense to criticize him heavily for those performances. He wasn’t making bad coverage reads or reacting poorly to pressure in the pocket. All of his problems could be traced back to that shoulder injury. Understanding that context, Newton has been astonishingly good the past two seasons. Not only does the 28-year old play in the most stressful scheme a quarterback can play in, he does so with a consistently inadequate supporting cast. Everything the Panthers do centers around Newton’s skill set. The passing game relies on deep drops in the pocket with vertical routes that take time to develop. Because the Panthers don’t have viable starting tackles to give Newton time, the offense relies on hard play fakes and extra pass blockers to function. This means Newton has to fit the ball into tighter windows with fewer receivers running routes against more defensive backs. He often has to throw said receivers open and anticipate the placement of the ball to get it out before the pass rush engulfs him. Even when Newton makes a perfect pass, his receivers are as likely to ruin it as they are to catch it. Newton lost 845 yards (without considering YAC) to receiver error last year, only Aaron Rodgers lost more and he played in four more games. Kelvin Benjamin’s return actually made the receiving corps worse rather than better. There isn’t another quarterback in the league who could execute the offense that the Panthers are forced to run by their limited personnel. He combines the patience, awareness, arm strength and poise within the pocket to keep the timing of route combinations as everything collapses around him. There are other quarterbacks who contribute in the running game like Newton, but none have the whole scheme built around him the way he does. Newton makes every single element of the offense better with his presence alone. He can be used on option run designs like Alex Smith, Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick and Andy Dalton, but Newton’s skill set goes one step further than that. He is also the best redzone weapon in the league because of his power to run through linebackers. Newton’s presence changes the numbers advantage into the offense’s favor whenever they run the ball. Much is made of Newton’s completion percentage. Using that singular number to judge accuracy is irrational. It would be like saying DeAndre Jordan is more accurate than Steph Curry because his field goal percentage is higher. Newton throws the ball downfield more than any other quarterback. 67.67 percent of Newton’s pass attempts travelled further than five yards downfield last year, the league average was 52.13 percent. Only Jameis Winston was close to Newton. When you adjust for that depth Newton’s completion percentage jumps to the 12th best in the league. When you take out the receiver’s influence on the outcome of each play to isolate the accuracy of the quarterback, Newton becomes by far the most accurate passer in the NFL. Those measurements aren’t perfect, but they are a far more accurate reflection of Newton’s accuracy than completion percentage is. Did you know? Cam Newton threw more passes further than 20 yards downfield last year than he threw behind the line of scrimmage. Newton was accurate on 68.46 percent of his passes that travelled further than five yards downfield. Even if you include all of Matt Barkley, Brock Osweiler, Jameis Winston, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jared Goff’s short throws and exclude Newton’s, that 68.46 would still make him the most accurate from the group. ______ *Please excuse my lack of creativity in terms of the title of this thread. I know it's clickbait-esque, but just go along with it.
  6. I remember the days of vigorously debating about Cam Newton versus the sure-thing, Andrew Luck. People all over, including Panthers fans, were proclaiming that Luck was some kind of football demigod of a QB, and Cam was simply a flawed, running QB who would be exposed in the pocket. The sentiment of the day was that there was a gigantic gap between the two as far as skill level. Well, some of that is still going on today, but the way that their careers have played out so far, especially the 2015 season, you don't hear as much chatter that Luck is great and Cam is not, but most of us know that Luck is still considered the future GOAT---at least a GOAT, and Newton, just a goat. Well we're getting ready to see how otherworldly Luck is now that his line is deteriorating. "Coach Chuck Pagano told reporters Thursday that center Ryan Kelly, the team's 2016 first-round pick and arguably its best offensive lineman, will need surgery on his foot." http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000830657/article/colts-center-ryan-kelly-will-undergo-foot-surgery Now when our line was having issues last year, people focused on the fact that Cam was not good. I guarantee you that if their GM can't get some legit help in the next three weeks, what I'll refer to as Luck "apologism" will make its presence known at multiple points within the next six months. And I'm not saying that some of it won't be justified. But there was more to Cam's woes also. To me, I see two QBs with a lot of upside, but two QBs that have been far from perfect. I kind of feel sorry for Luck though...kind of. But I certainly am tired of the Luck apologists, especially the ones that always seem to poo on Cam. I'm willing to help though. I have a good idea: Let's offer the Colts Gradkowski...
  7. Greg Olsen just sheds a little light on a few subjects with USA Today's For The Win! He talks about Cam, his career, the contract-gettleman thing, CMC, Jay Cutler, the so-called evolution, etc. Here is an excerpt: Cam Newton seems to be under constant scrutiny. Just last month former NFL player Booger McFarland said he's heard from people in Charlotte that Cam isn't a leader in the locker room. You've played with Cam his entire career. How is he as a teammate and a leader in the locker room? This has been a storyline that has been circulating since he's come into the league. It's really become an exhausting storyline. Guys enjoy saying it on the national level because it's a hot take. Something that garners a lot of headlines and reaction. But there's not a lot of substance behind it. I don't even know if it deserves attention at all. For what Cam has accomplished, where we've come as an organization since we drafted him, I think all that speaks for itself. For what he's done for this organization, putting it on the map nationally, it's exhausting hearing this narrative circulated year in and year out. Around the locker room, it's a storyline that's not even given much credibility. Olsen gives direct, straight-up answers as he is known to do, so miss it if you want to... https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ftw/2017/08/10/greg-olsen-says-narrative-that-cam-newton-isnt-a-leader-is-exhausting/104480756/?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzRss&utm_campaign=usatodaycomnfl-topstories
  8. Cam's Clear Case for MVP

    Not only has Cam Newton earned the Most Valuable Player of the NFL this season, he has redefined the position along the way. Anyone who watches the Panthers play on Sundays clearly understands this fact. However, there are still a few who try to dismiss Newton’s performance using the old way of judging a quarterback. Allow me to present to you the main bullet points of Cam Newton’s amazing 2015 MVP bid. 3837 Yards Passing - 16th in NFL Here is the one stat that is not all that impressive. Cam Newton only threw for 3837 yards. Strange that in this day and age nearly 4000 yards passing is not particularly impressive. If Cam Newton played the entire games against Atlanta and Tampa Bay, he may have surpassed 4000 yards. But, as you can see by the following stats… it really doesn’t matter. Many doubters will point to Cam’s completion percentage. It is easy to spot a living room couch expert that way. They have no idea how many dropped passes Newton has played through. Heck, if Ted Ginn held on to just half of his drops alone Cam Newton would have had well over 4000 yards and been ranked in the top 10 in this category. 7.8 Yards per pass - 7th in the NFL The Panthers are a running team. In fact, they ranked 2nd in the NFL in rushing overall. Naturally, on a team based on the run, the QB will be throwing less. Taking this into account, Cam Newton averaged 7.8 yards per pass which ties him for 7th in the league. This is more yards per attempt than Tom Brady. Throw in the fact that Cam did so without a single wide receiver that would start on any other NFL team. This stat becomes not only impressive, but nearly unbelievable. 35 passing touchdowns - 2nd in the NFL (tied with Bortles, E. Manning, Palmer) Thats right, Cam Newton is tied for 2nd place in the NFL for number of touchdowns thrown, also known as the most important stat for a QB in football. Moving down the field is meaningless if a QB cannot deliver in the red zone. Again, without a wide receiver that would start on any other NFL team. Simply amazing. Ok, so there are some traditional QB stats that clearly show Cam Newton is one of the top QB’s in the league. Do these stats make him a MVP candidate? Not really. They make him a very good quarterback. Now comes the part where he has redefined the position…. 56 Rushing First Downs - 5th in the NFL I have said it for many seasons now. Cam Newton is 80% of the Panthers offense. Without his first down runs, many improvised, the Panthers would rank very low on offense. However, because of Cam Newton, the Panthers scored more points in 2015 than any other team in the NFL. Cam Newton single handedly kept the chains moving 56 times this season. This is almost twice as many times as the next QB on the list…. Russell Wilson who ranked 33rd. 10 Rushing Touchdowns - 5th in the NFL (tied with RB Todd Gurley) Cam Newton is tied with probably Rookie of the Year RB Todd Gurley in rushing touchdowns. He is ahead of full time running backs like Doug Martin, David Johnson, DeMarco Murray, the list goes on. Cam Newton has one rushing touchdown less than Adrian Peterson. Take a moment and let that sink in. Cam Newton has already tied Steve Young’s career record for rushing touchdowns. Now, take into consideration that Cam Newton clearly was a very good QB in 2015 despite lack of weapons, he also was a top runner in this league. In other words..... Cam Newton was the majority of the production, both in the air and on the ground, in the offense that scored the most points in the NFL. That, my friends, is MVP defined.
  9. Not only has Cam Newton earned the Most Valuable Player of the NFL this season, he has redefined the position along the way. Anyone who watches the Panthers play on Sundays clearly understands this fact. However, there are still a few who try to dismiss Newton’s performance using the old way of judging a quarterback. Allow me to present to you the main bullet points of Cam Newton’s amazing 2015 MVP bid. 3837 Yards Passing - 16th in NFL Here is the one stat that is not all that impressive. Cam Newton only threw for 3837 yards. Strange that in this day and age nearly 4000 yards passing is not particularly impressive. If Cam Newton played the entire games against Atlanta and Tampa Bay, he may have surpassed 4000 yards. But, as you can see by the following stats… it really doesn’t matter. Many doubters will point to Cam’s completion percentage. It is easy to spot a living room couch expert that way. They have no idea how many dropped passes Newton has played through. Heck, if Ted Ginn held on to just half of his drops alone Cam Newton would have had well over 4000 yards and been ranked in the top 10 in this category. 7.8 Yards per pass - 7th in the NFL The Panthers are a running team. In fact, they ranked 2nd in the NFL in rushing overall. Naturally, on a team based on the run, the QB will be throwing less. Taking this into account, Cam Newton averaged 7.8 yards per pass which ties him for 7th in the league. This is more yards per attempt than Tom Brady. Throw in the fact that Cam did so without a single wide receiver that would start on any other NFL team. This stat becomes not only impressive, but nearly unbelievable. 35 passing touchdowns - 2nd in the NFL (tied with Bortles, E. Manning, Palmer) Thats right, Cam Newton is tied for 2nd place in the NFL for number of touchdowns thrown, also known as the most important stat for a QB in football. Moving down the field is meaningless if a QB cannot deliver in the red zone. Again, without a wide receiver that would start on any other NFL team. Simply amazing. Ok, so there are some traditional QB stats that clearly show Cam Newton is one of the top QB’s in the league. Do these stats make him a MVP candidate? Not really. They make him a very good quarterback. Now comes the part where he has redefined the position…. 56 Rushing First Downs - 5th in the NFL I have said it for many seasons now. Cam Newton is 80% of the Panthers offense. Without his first down runs, many improvised, the Panthers would rank very low on offense. However, because of Cam Newton, the Panthers scored more points in 2015 than any other team in the NFL. Cam Newton single handedly kept the chains moving 56 times this season. This is almost twice as many times as the next QB on the list…. Russell Wilson who ranked 33rd. 10 Rushing Touchdowns - 5th in the NFL (tied with RB Todd Gurley) Cam Newton is tied with probably Rookie of the Year RB Todd Gurley in rushing touchdowns. He is ahead of full time running backs like Doug Martin, David Johnson, DeMarco Murray, the list goes on. Cam Newton has one rushing touchdown less than Adrian Peterson. Take a moment and let that sink in. Cam Newton has already tied Steve Young’s career record for rushing touchdowns. Now, take into consideration that Cam Newton clearly was a very good QB in 2015 despite lack of weapons, he also was a top runner in this league. In other words..... Cam Newton was the majority of the production, both in the air and on the ground, in the offense that scored the most points in the NFL. That, my friends, is MVP defined. View full article
  10. 2015 may be the year a true changing of the guard happens at the QB position in the NFC South. For many years now, Drew Brees has been tops in the south. Few impartial observers would argue that fact. However, Brees showed signs of wear and tear last season. As a result, the Saints look to be moving towards a more run based offense. Will that help? Matt Ryan has proven to be a good quarterback at times, but has fallen short when it mattered most. Can the Falcons new Head Coach instill a toughness into Matt Ryan and help him overcome adversity? Cam Newton is now healthy and appears to have the best offensive weapons of his career at his disposal. Is the offensive line improved enough to keep him from running for his life? Jameis Winston, the unknown, could have a record breaking rookie year just as Cam Newton did. Crazier things have happened. How would you rank the NFC South Quarterbacks? View full article
  11. The Carolina Panthers finished their offseason workout in spirited fashion. This was one of the better practices to have witnessed. No punches were thrown, but it was exciting none the less. Here are the highlights... Konly Ealy impressed early with a reaching bat down of a Cam Newton pass. Could Ealy be using yesterday's fisticuffs at motivation?Starting corners today were Josh Norman and Peanut Tillman for the first half of practice, and then Benwikere replaced Tillman for the rest. Starting safeties were Tre Boston and Roman Harper.Josh Norman was very physical with Gamecocks rookie WR Damiere Byrd at the line, jamming him at the line. After the play, Josh would walk over to Byrd with encouragement, telling him what he did and how to counter it. Daryl Williams was the starting right tackle for most of the day. Mike Remmers spent time at center with the first and second unity. It is unclear if this is more than typical evaluation. TE Jamie Childers dropped a sure TD from Cam Newton. Not a great way to make an impression with the first team. Todman hauled in another nice touchdown from Derek Anderson out of the backfield. Todman has impressed as of late. CB Lou Young has looked less than average until today. He made a couple of nice plays on the ball. Bene Benwikere's quickness is an obvious asset to the Panthers. He is at the receiver instantly on Cam Newton check downs. Corey Brown again showed nice hands with an important sideline grab from Cam Newton. Devin Funchess also showed impressive hands today on a quick out from Cam Newton. Cam Newton had a couple of poor overthrows today to Ted Ginn, but Funchess is more difficult to place the ball out of reach for. A scary moment today happened when Cam Newton took a hard fall to the ground after slipping on the turf. There were many slips this year in practices for everyone.During the last first team drills, the offensive tackles were Martin and Williams. Jarrett Boykin dropped a sure TD from Cam Newton. Boykin tried to cradle the ball, but it bounced off his chest. Boykin has struggled throughout OTAs and Mini Camp. Damiere Byrd is looking like a keeper, at least on the practice squad. His snaps have been increasing as some others have been decreasing. He is taking full advantage of them.
  12. The Carolina Panthers finished their offseason workout in spirited fashion. This was one of the better practices to have witnessed. No punches were thrown, but it was exciting none the less. Here are the highlights... Konly Ealy impressed early with a reaching bat down of a Cam Newton pass. Could Ealy be using yesterday's fisticuffs at motivation?Starting corners today were Josh Norman and Peanut Tillman for the first half of practice, and then Benwikere replaced Tillman for the rest. Starting safeties were Tre Boston and Roman Harper.Josh Norman was very physical with Gamecocks rookie WR Damiere Byrd at the line, jamming him at the line. After the play, Josh would walk over to Byrd with encouragement, telling him what he did and how to counter it. Daryl Williams was the starting right tackle for most of the day. Mike Remmers spent time at center with the first and second unity. It is unclear if this is more than typical evaluation. TE Jamie Childers dropped a sure TD from Cam Newton. Not a great way to make an impression with the first team. Todman hauled in another nice touchdown from Derek Anderson out of the backfield. Todman has impressed as of late. CB Lou Young has looked less than average until today. He made a couple of nice plays on the ball. Bene Benwikere's quickness is an obvious asset to the Panthers. He is at the receiver instantly on Cam Newton check downs. Corey Brown again showed nice hands with an important sideline grab from Cam Newton. Devin Funchess also showed impressive hands today on a quick out from Cam Newton. Cam Newton had a couple of poor overthrows today to Ted Ginn, but Funchess is more difficult to place the ball out of reach for. A scary moment today happened when Cam Newton took a hard fall to the ground after slipping on the turf. There were many slips this year in practices for everyone.During the last first team drills, the offensive tackles were Martin and Williams. Jarrett Boykin dropped a sure TD from Cam Newton. Boykin tried to cradle the ball, but it bounced off his chest. Boykin has struggled throughout OTAs and Mini Camp. Damiere Byrd is looking like a keeper, at least on the practice squad. His snaps have been increasing as some others have been decreasing. He is taking full advantage of them. View full article
  13. I have no doubt you have heard about the punches thrown at practice today, so here are the other things you need to know about today's Panthers practice. Kelvin Benjamin sat out most of practice due to a hamstring pull. This is not the same hamstring that kept him from participating two weeks ago. Shaq Thompson saw increased time with the first string defense today. It may just be a matter of time....Coleman and Boston again saw many snaps as the starting safeties. The play of the day belonged to Brenton Bersin, who hauled in a beautiful back of the end zone touchdown over Tre Boston from Cam Newton. This earned some celebration and a jumping chest bump from Cam Newton. Bersin continued to score two additional touchdowns. He is my player of the day. Corey Brown had a bit of an off day today, dropping two "would be" touchdowns. Stephen Hill dropped a corner of the end zone touchdown, broken up by Carrington Byndom. But on the very next play followed through with a catch. Jordan Todman took first string kickoff returns. Tedd Ginn took the second reps. Todman is extremely shifty on screens out of the backfield. He may displace another running back on this team's roster. Colin Jones continues to make impressive plays on the ball, two near interceptions today. Dean Marlowe had a nice day today and could push for the starting free safety spot. He had a key breakup on an end zone pass.
  14. I have no doubt you have heard about the punches thrown at practice today, so here are the other things you need to know about today's Panthers practice. ​ View full article
  15. Panthers OTA Notes - Week 3

    The Carolina Panthers opened up an additional day for media, which came as a nice surprise this morning. So I rearranged my schedule and headed to Biggs Camera for my gear. Those guys are so awesome they are providing me with equipment this season so that I can bring these images to you. Having them in my corner this year is a load off my mind in terms of equipment. So make sure you show them some love if you are in Charlotte and in need of camera gear or prints. They are good people. Charles Johnson was showing off some nice kicks and a new haircut today. Kelvin Benjamin and Bene Benwikere again were limited in their practice involvement. I spoke to Bene after practice. He is feeling good and should return as soon as tomorrow possibly. After practice coach Rivera mentioned Kelvin also may return. Just because Kelvin is limited in team drills doesn't mean he is taking it easy. He spent a lot of time with the ball machine, catching pass after pass. He seems more aggravated by not being able to participate on the field than by a nagging hamstring. Earlier this year on the Huddle Podcast, Josh Norman expressed how important veteran safety Roman Harper is to the defensive backs. Norman sees Harper as kind of an older wiser brother and credits Harper as a source for knowledge. It is obvious on the field that these two have a mutual respect and fondness for one another which is great to see. Clemson product Garry Peters was a highly ranked UDFA, but he hasn't managed to see the field yet. He spent the day with the trainers again, trying to get his legs healthy. This is not the position a UDFA rookie wants to be in, especially with how competitive the cornerback position is this season. During offensive line drills, Andrew Norwell looked like, well, Andrew Norwell. Taking everything deadly serious as if it were a gameday situation, and bringing that mean streak we all have grown to love. A source within the organization has told me Norwell looks like a 10 year starter for the Panthers. Cam again looked sharp today, and not just because of the highlighter green shirt. He continued to have plenty of zip on the ball and precision accuracy. - Player of the Day: Greg Olsen. Olsen hauled in three touchdowns while making the Panthers safeties look less than stellar. The Cam to Olsen connection was nearly unstoppable today. - Rookie receiver Damiere Byrd closed out practice with a long bomb touchdown again today. Once he gets behind a defender, there is little chance of catching him. - Jarrett Boykin had another rough day today, dropping a touchdown pass in the red zone. Boykin had both hands on the ball, but just could not hold on. - The Panthers changed up the offensive line a bit today. Mike Remmers spent some time at center, and Martin Wallace got a few snaps with the second team at left tackle. - The scary moment of the day was a bad communication on the offensive line that put Michael Oher far out of place and a leaving Mario Addison untouched as he got to Cam Newton. Of course, Addison did not touch Cam, but if it was an actual game Cam would be at serious risk. - Frank Alexander spent the most time at left defensive end with Charles Johnson still on the right. Thats all for general observations. I will have more specific observations about players and units in the coming hours and days. As always, I will be having extended coverage including photos and observations in the All-Pro section of the Huddle. If you are a huddle regular and enjoy what I provide here, I encourage you to sign up and help keep it going.
  16. The Carolina Panthers opened up an additional day for media, which came as a nice surprise this morning. So I rearranged my schedule and headed to Biggs Camera for my gear. Those guys are so awesome they are providing me with equipment this season so that I can bring these images to you. Having them in my corner this year is a load off my mind in terms of equipment. So make sure you show them some love if you are in Charlotte and in need of camera gear or prints. They are good people. Charles Johnson was showing off some nice kicks and a new haircut today. Kelvin Benjamin and Bene Benwikere again were limited in their practice involvement. I spoke to Bene after practice. He is feeling good and should return as soon as tomorrow possibly. After practice coach Rivera mentioned Kelvin also may return. Just because Kelvin is limited in team drills doesn't mean he is taking it easy. He spent a lot of time with the ball machine, catching pass after pass. He seems more aggravated by not being able to participate on the field than by a nagging hamstring...... View full article
  17. Cam Newton Healthy, Confident

    One of the most important stories of the week that few people are talking about is Cam Newton and his health. After an injury plagued 2014 offseason that only got worse into the regular season, Cam's health probably should be more at the forefront of the Panthers fan concerns. I can remember in training camp of 2014, after practices Cam could barely walk up the hill to the ice tubs. The physical toll after a single practice was obvious to even the most casual observer. He would cringe after each step, soreness from surgery performed on his ankle nagging at him. It would continue to bother him throughout the entire season. Throw in a couple of rib injuries before the end of 2014, and it is easy to see why his health should be a big concern. So at Thursday's OTA session, I was curious to see how Cam behaved. The first indication of his health came just after stretching, when Cam ran to the near practice field for drills. It wasn't a jog, or even a casual run. It was a near sprint to get to his next station. I had not seen that from Cam at practice in over a year. Next up was his throwing motion. Was there any indication that his rib injuries would nag him into 2015? Would there be any effect on the balls thrown? I've watched Cam in offseason drills now for five years. Watching him throw deep to Stephen Hill and Corey Brown showed me something I had not seen since his rookie season. Great form and precision accuracy. Cam entered the league and broke rookie passing records. After that, he struggled at times with high throws. Those, for the time being at least, seem to have disappeared. Cam hit his receivers in stride time after time on Thursday. It was the best practice performance I had seen from him in recent memory. Maybe his ankle truly did bother him for the past few seasons. Maybe he has been putting in extra work to correct technical mistakes. Whatever the reason, Cam Newton looked as sharp as I had ever seen him. Next up, what about those running plays, bother planned and improvised. Well, it was not long before Cam was running with the ball and matching the speed of Joe Webb (something that Cam could not do last season). There was little difference, if any, between the speed at which Webb would run with the ball from under center and when Cam Newton ran the same plays. Yes, it is the offseason. Yes, there is no risk of Cam getting hit. But I am comparing apples to apples here. Last season's training camp to this season's OTA's. The improvement in his physical ability is real. Finally, what about his demeanor after practice. Would he limp to the tubs like last year? Would he struggle to just make it off the practice field? Well, in this case, I will let the picture do the talking.
  18. One of the most important stories of the week that few people are talking about is Cam Newton and his health. After an injury plagued 2014 offseason that only got worse into the regular season, Cam's health probably should be more at the forefront of the Panthers fan concerns. I can remember in training camp of 2014, after practices Cam could barely walk up the hill to the ice tubs. The physical toll after a single practice was obvious to even the most casual observer. He would cringe after each step, soreness from surgery performed on his ankle nagging at him. It would continue to bother him throughout the entire season. Throw in a couple of rib injuries before the end of 2014, and it is easy to see why his health should be a big concern. So at Thursday's OTA session, I was curious to see how Cam behaved. View full article
  19. Cam Looking Dapper

    Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was recently spotted at Tim Te-bow's charity golf event at The Tournament Players Club at Sawgrass(Ponte Vedra Beach, FL). Obviously, Cam displayed his unique style, but took it a little further with his shoe choice. I can only dream of the day I am hip enough to pull this look off.
  20. According to Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer, Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers have begun contract negotiations. Apparently, both sides are happy to let the dust settle on the upcoming Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson contracts before talks get too serious. Then, they will use those contracts as a reference for Newton's upcoming deal. Don't be shocked if Cam Newton insists on more money than both Luck and Wilson, as Newton was a much larger part of any success his offensive unit had. He may have a point, Cam Newton and his legs are a big reason that the anemic Panthers offense led by Mike Shula scored any points at all. Don't expect a deal to come any time soon, but the fact that both sides are in long term talks should be comforting enough for Panthers fans.
  21. http://www.charlotte...ml#.VOkqVnYyF3M Quote Quote
  22. Cam Newton should be paid more than Luck or Wilson. If you ask yourself what percentage of the overall offensive success is each QB responsible for, Cam Newton comes out well above Andrew Luck or Russell Wilson. Cam Newton and his legs are the main reason the Panthers offense had any success at all last season. If not for his ability to stay alive with his physical talents when linemen and linebackers are chasing him, the Panthers would have been ranked dead last in the league. In other words, Cam Newton is a huge band-aid holding together an inept offense. Partly due to lack of weapons, partly due to a below average coordinator, the Panthers offense was more of a hindrance than a help in the playoff race. Whatever the reasons for the bad offense, Cam Newton made sure it was at least competitive. I'm not saying Cam Newton will get more money. I'm not saying the Panthers will pay more money. I'm saying if you look at the situation objectively, Cam and his agent have a serious argument for more.
  23. Cam Newton should be paid more than Luck or Wilson. If you ask yourself what percentage of the overall offensive success is each QB responsible for, Cam Newton comes out well above Andrew Luck or Russell Wilson. Cam Newton and his legs are the main reason the Panthers offense had any success at all last season. If not for his ability to stay alive with his physical talents when linemen and linebackers are chasing him, the Panthers would have been ranked dead last in the league. In other words, Cam Newton is a huge band-aid holding together an inept offense. Partly due to lack of weapons, partly due to a below average coordinator, the Panthers offense was more of a hindrance than a help in the playoff race. Whatever the reasons for the bad offense, Cam Newton made sure it was at least competitive. I'm not saying Cam Newton will get more money. I'm not saying the Panthers will pay more money. I'm saying if you look at the situation objectively, Cam and his agent have a serious argument for more.
  24. The first rainy day of training camp brought out the best in some, the worst in others. Kelvin Benjamin was participating in warmups, although still in shorts. Benjamin had no brace or protection on his knee and appeared to go through the stretches without any discomfort. He may not be far from suiting up again. Charles Johnson put in extra work with his hand positioning before practice began. Charles knows a defensive lineman's hands are one of the more important aspects of the game to master. Even though Chandler and Bell are in competition for the same position, they still manage to practice and get along without any negative feelings towards one another. We are lucky that is the case, on many teams it would not be. Amini Silatolu is quietly putting together a solid camp after having been out with an injury most of last season. The combination of Turner and Silatolu may be the best guard duo the Panthers have had in quite some time. The future looks very bright along the offensive line interior. Deangelo Williams was once again taking first team snaps. Apparently Deangelo is so familiar with his role he doesn't need to participate in the huddle, and didn't most of the day. Mike Tolbert also received plenty of carries. Ball security is rarely a concern with Tolbert. He covers up well and tends to drag any players who reach for the ball along with him. Antoine Cason and Melvin White are most likely the starting corners this season. In my opinion, Cason is a significant upgrade over Captain Munnerlyn. The Panthers are better off this year at corner. Rookie UDFA Carrington Byndom is a guy I would like to see make the team this year. He has made enough plays on the field to at the very least be considered for a practice squad. James Dockery, the 4th year CB out of Oregon State, had a pretty interception today on a Derek Anderson pass. He was able to cut off Marcus Lucas and make a play on the ball before Lucas could react. Charles Godfrey again had a rough day today. Godfrey, who missed most of the 2013 season with a torn Achilles, now finds himself struggling to learn a new position. Not many players come back from an Achilles tear in a single year. The added stress of learning a new position may be too much for him. Rookie Bene Benwikere may end up starting in the nickel position. Bene had a "would be touchdown" after interception today on a Derek Anderson throw. When matched up against Tavarres King, Godfrey was taken out of position and no longer showed the kind of speed it takes to recover from the mistake. It is unclear if Godfrey is going to be able to make this team at all. Speaking of Tavarres King, King had the best camp day so far of any receiver. The goal for him is to try to separate himself from the lower tier wide receivers who are on the bubble. King's performance today, which included a long TD, should help him reach that goal. Denicos Allen is another player that is struggling early. Allen, at 5'11 and only 225, is pushed around by the tight ends and full backs quite a bit. Today Brandon Williams gave him an elbow that lifted him off the ground and took him out of the play. I like what I am seeing out of second year man AJ Klein. Klein has been working on his covering skills and it may pay off into a starting role, replacing Chase Blackburn. Luke Kuechly remains the field general of the defense. Kuechly is more vocal this season than he has ever been. He appears to be settling into his leadership role. It is obvious everyone on the team respects Luke and follows his lead. In some ways, he may just be the most important player on the team. Nate Chandler once again spent quite a bit of time at left tackle and performed well against Greg Hardy. Chandler is very quick off the snap and rarely gives up the first step to a defensive end, including the speedy Hardy. Trai Turner also had a positive day today and did well in pass protection, even against defenders like Star Lotulelei. Turner, an already formidable run blocker, needs to perfect his pass protection skills to become a well rounded player. Jericho Cotchery had a really nice TD today from Cam Newton, but what was more impressive to me was what Cotchery did just after. Along the sidelines he went over with Brenton Bersin what he did and the intricacies of the play. I won't tell you the number of times I saw Steve Smith do this in camp, but it rhymes with Nero. We are lucky to have Cotchery. Cam Newton had a rough day today, presumably because of the wet conditions. Many of his passes were thrown high. Cam looked frustrated often, not happy at all with his performance. When balls are being overthrown by the quarterbacks, the receiver that it effects the most is 5'10" Kealoha Pilares. The overthrows may not be as big an issue with Kelvin Benjamin back on the field. Pilares did manage to get the most praise from the coaching staff on kick return duties. This may be his best path to making the team. After practice, the quarterbacks and receivers put in extra time with passing drills. Once that was completed, Cam was the last player on the field. He began to do conditioning drills. QB coach Ken Dorsey then went to him with encouragement. Dorsey has a quiet cool about him that gels very well with Newton. Soft spoken and sincere, Dorsey is easy to like. I spoke with Dorsey after practice and asked him about the extra conditioning Newton was doing. Dorsey told me that is something Cam does when he is not happy with the performance he left on the field. Cam takes it upon himself and has the discipline to enforce extra work, a reminder to do better the next day. I'd say that is admirable.
  25. The only thing the national sports media likes more than tearing a player down is building him back up again. Case in point... Cam Newton. During Cam's entire career the national media has enjoyed labeling Newton the villain. From towels on his head to his chosen jersey number, the media has treated Cam like a punching bag. Some of this was fueled by Cam's decision not to give interviews his rookie season. Some fueled by out and out journalistic laziness... See the Forbes helmet clip article for example. One thing is for sure, however. Almost none of the negative attention was deserved. Fast forward to 2013 and the current state of the Panthers quarterback. Cam Newton has the NFL's best passer rating of 130.3 over the past three weeks. In his past 16 games, he has 3,720 yards, 27 TDs, 9 INTs. Those are franchise numbers. The result in the national media has been a turning of the negativity tide. Where once was a story of ego and arrogance now is a tale of redemption. Attitudes towards Cam are changing and with it brings added attention to the Panthers on a national stage.
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