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Inside the Play: Cam Newton to Steve Smith


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#37 ed bell

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 07:17 PM

There is nothing forced about having a wide open passing lane and throwing a ball only Smith could catch unless it turns into a tip drill:

Posted Image

Looks like great field vision and anticipation of route development to me. No way Smith bobbles that pass...It's exactly the type of throw he thrives on: keeps his stride and nearly splits defenders for an even larger gain despite their angle advantages.

Edited by ed bell, 03 December 2011 - 07:29 PM.


#38 fieryprophet

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 07:21 PM

This post does have excellent analysis, but I do have one issue with it...

Was this really the smartest play for Cam to attempt on that snap? Smitty was triple covered.. Yes...the throw and catch beat the coverage and it was an amazing play (having seen it live on TV), but come on! Shouldn't that mean that there was another reciever open. If Cam had pumped faked on that play and checked down to LaFell on the under route, they still would have picked up 10 yards and it wouldn't have been as risky of a play. What if the throw had not been perfect or what if Smitty had tipped the ball up instead of catching it. In both cases it is a sure interception. In fact most of Cam's INTs have come on similar plays. Its a tight window and the ball gets tipped.

I give Cam and Smitty credit for making the play...and to you for the great breakdown...but in my opinion it also reveals that Cam likes to force plays when there are more efficient (admittedly less flashy) options. I think this not only illustrates his tremendous skill, but also his inexperience.


I'm not going to say whether that was the correct play to make in that situation or not (although the coaches obviously trust him to make that throw because they called the play) but good quarterbacks must be able to make those kinds of passes a few times every game.

And realistically, the play looks closer than it really was because the pass was, quite frankly, perfectly thrown. As long as Smith stayed with his route and caught it, the defense had no chance at it, and were completely caught out of position to tackle Smitty because of it.

I would rather that Cam trusted his arm on those kinds of throws and worked on his execution rather than avoiding them altogether and stunting his development and confidence. I've watched every one of his interceptions and only a few were outright terrible throws or decisions (he's had particularly bad luck on balls hitting receivers in the hands and getting tipped rather than caught.)

The sheer fact that he can make this throw with regularity and without hesitation is simply remarkable.

Edited by fieryprophet, 03 December 2011 - 07:26 PM.


#39 ed bell

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 07:36 PM

<snip>I would rather that Cam trusted his arm on those kinds of throws and worked on his execution rather than avoiding them altogether and stunting his development and confidence. I've watched every one of his interceptions and only a few were outright terrible throws or decisions (he's had particularly bad luck on balls hitting receivers in the hands and getting tipped rather than caught.)<snip>


Right on...I'd love to see every INT placed back-to-back just for the comparison value. A ball tipped up in the air off of a receiver's hands isn't always an INT resulting from a poor decision by the QB. Cam has had his share of those this year.

#40 edromeo

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 02:31 AM

This post does have excellent analysis, but I do have one issue with it...

Was this really the smartest play for Cam to attempt on that snap? Smitty was triple covered.. Yes...the throw and catch beat the coverage and it was an amazing play (having seen it live on TV), but come on! Shouldn't that mean that there was another reciever open. If Cam had pumped faked on that play and checked down to LaFell on the under route, they still would have picked up 10 yards and it wouldn't have been as risky of a play. What if the throw had not been perfect or what if Smitty had tipped the ball up instead of catching it. In both cases it is a sure interception. In fact most of Cam's INTs have come on similar plays. Its a tight window and the ball gets tipped.

I give Cam and Smitty credit for making the play...and to you for the great breakdown...but in my opinion it also reveals that Cam likes to force plays when there are more efficient (admittedly less flashy) options. I think this not only illustrates his tremendous skill, but also his inexperience.


I would bet dollars to doughnuts that the read for the first progression is the OLB lined up over LaFell that OLB was breaking towards Lafell's flat route @ the :07 second mark in the youtube clip and those false steps were all the space Cam needed to make the throw.
A good throw will beat a defender changing direction everytime.

Further I think Lafell would have been tackled short as his momentum is more parrallel then upfield and he would already have the OLB closing and the corner on that side coming down the sideline for the stop.

Edited by edromeo, 04 December 2011 - 02:33 AM.


#41 Achilles

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 07:47 AM

Well of course those are all good points. I see what people mean about it not being triple coverage. I actually agree that I would rather Cam take those chances and learn how to beat teams rather than just take what's given like a Clausen or a Weinke. Just being devils advocate and pointing out that that same kind of situation is how Cam has gotten a lot of turnovers. I'd say at least half of his INTs were tipped passes. Also, I understnd that the LaFell option was not ideal and probably would not have yielded yardage. Plus, it was a good call by Chud to go for a big chunk there and it almost turned into a TD. Actually that play reminds me of the X clown TD in the Rams game from 2003-04 playoffs. Smitty is the man! Will Cam surpass Delhomme as the best Panthers QB ever?