It shouldn't be surprising considering what the Panthers had done up to that point.
Kerry Collins - Alcoholic and unable to handle the pressure
Tim Biakabatuka - Father was actually an IKEA desk
Rae Carruth - Ghetto as hell and a murderer
Jason Peter - Heroin addict
Rashard Anderson - Heroin addict and drug dealer
Anyway I say this to establish a major before/after reality. After that, the worst thing that has happened off the field/character wise was Peppers getting busted for a illegal supplement and Saltman accusing Beason of attacking him in a club. The Panthers are top notch at this whole investigating draft picks things.
Darin Gantt tweeted yesterday that the Panthers would have turned down Atlanta's trade offer. The thought of that makes me kinda sick but it leads me to believe that as soon as Luck decided to return they decided on Cam, the rest was just procedural.
The really interesting thing about it was the hiring of Mike Shula. He is the kind of guy that John Fox would never have on his team; a very independent, smart, high profile guy who specializes in teaching. I really didn't get the significance of the hire until it became obvious that Cam was going to be the pick. The Panthers are going to surround him with not only the best running game in football and a top 5 line, they're going to give him all the coaches and nurturing he needs, something that Jimmy and, more importantly, Kerry Collins didn't have.
Kerry was a lot like Ryan Mallet when he came out. There were whispers about his drinking problems, but this was in the dark ages of the mid nineties, when we didn't have internet or twitter. If facebook had existed, or team message boards, Kerry's problems would have been known. Also, if drafted today, Kerry wouldn't be a first round draft pick. Back then all that mattered were what you did in college or how strong your arm is. It wasn't until the David Carr disaster that pros changed how they evaluate QBs. Kerry had the slowest release in the world and moved like an unathletic Drew Bledsoe. He was dumb as a brick on top of that.
And the Panthers tossed his ass to the wolves
Kerry said recently he wasn't ready to start. The pressures drove him to retreat into alcoholism, which impacted his play, which led him to drink more. Alcoholism is a funny thing. It physically changes you. It becomes the cause and solution to all your problems. I know this as someone who has it all over the family, and as someone who laughs as he constantly checks yes on every form that's meant to figure out if you're an alcoholic. Do i feel uncomfortable in social settings without a drink? Do i feel like I can't have a good time without a drink? Do you always drink to excess? lol of course yeah
so now think of the coaching staff assembled by the Panthers and the very few moments of Laptops we have indicate we're not going to make the same mistakes. there were reportedly two "handlers" at jordan gross' softball game that dragged him away before he could give a single interview. Cam strikes me as the kind of guy who's been raised to think he's great. That's not necessarily his fault, and it's not something that can't be changed. The Panthers have absolutely total control over the local media, and unless ESPN sends someone (which I'm suspecting is going to end up being Gantt, and there are some signs it's happening) to cover the team specifically, nothing will ever come out unless he you know makes an anti-semitic remark about Geoff Schwartz during post game. Live on television. While wearing an SS uniform.
Oh and by the way I hope you hadn't grown too accustomed to seeing cam do interviews for ESPN. That has ended.
So yeah not only do I not think that Cam will be playing much this year while they teach him what to do, I think they're going to bring in someone to just hand the ball off all year. Who's out there? Well, bulger is apparently already in Arizona. Matt Hasslebeck probably doesn't want to leave the west coast. Kolb doesn't fit the offense at all and will cost probably a high 3rd/low 2nd. Remember, Chud wants a guy with a strong arm. He produced a pro bowl year out of derek anderson. so who's there? why not Kerry Collins?
Collins' disaster was over a decade ago. Most of the Panthers fans, on this board especially, weren't even old enough to remember it. no one cares about what he did, and like I said, his problems were due to being mishandled by the Panthers and a substance abuse problem. A substance abuse problem he defeated. Kerry has been to hell and back so many times that the witch hunt Cam is currently stuck in (and that's what I believe it is) doesn't impress old number 12 too much. When Kerry was originally in Charlotte, there were tons of people bitching about his interviews, except with him it was his constant stutter, use of the word "Uh," and his inability to form coherent sentences. He's seen all the poo before that Cam is getting and has survived through it.
Kerry still has one of the strongest arms and best deep balls in the league. He's been the quarterback on three teams that went to the playoffs where his role was to minimize turnovers, hand the ball off to running backs, occasionally take deep shots, and let the defense win games. what team does that sound like? is there any better way for a young Cam Newton to play, when he plays?
Finally, there'd be something incredibly poetic to it, so poetic I can't believe it's not going to happen. Kerry was the teams first draft pick, and before last thursday the only one spent on a QB. he crashed and burned, composed himself, defeated his demons, and has assembled a pretty impressive pro career. 16 years later the Panthers draft another QB with "character concerns" (i think they're mostly bullpoo but whatever) and bring in their own former disgraced QB to tutor newton and finally exercise the last of his demons.
Edited by Fiz, 03 May 2011 - 11:34 PM.