Im not saying Cam is a genius, for all I know he could be a box of rocks. What I am saying is that I dont see anything that warrants the criticism that he gets. His maturity IMO is irrelevant, obviously this is only true if it doesn't reach grotesque proportions. I dont see anything that says he is so immature that it affects the W-L column.
His decision-making is improving. He attempts a lot less passes that have the potential to be intercepted before they reach the reciever. I believe this will translate to fewer interceptions than last year, but it means fewer throws and fewer TD's.
His football IQ is commensurate with a second year QB. (at least as far as the eye test goes) What do any of us really know about Cam's ability to read coverages.
The natural argument to what I just wrote is to point out that the coaches could be "shielding" Cam by running a spread as opposed to a pro style IOT simplify his reads. I dont think that is the case (i believe Chud is Dud) but that would be an indictment on the coaches more than Cam. Let him try the pro stuff. If he cant do it then replace him.
I'm leaning towards a box of rocks.
Forget his maturity but when it comes to reading defenses he admitted it with his own mouth late last year after the Lions game. So we know that for a fact he was at least still having trouble with it later in the year.
Now if you want observable examples from someone watching the game, and you care about the so called "eye test" rather than numbers, well I've been following Brady and the Patriots since 2001 and I have a pretty good idea of how it's supposed
to look. Not saying I expect that from Cam, but I know very well what he should be shooting for. To anyone outside this fan base that has actually spent week after week watching other QB's throw the ball, it becomes pretty obvious when he's taking 3 or 5 step drops that he seems to have a knack for holding on to the ball and adding 2-3 more while trying to wait
for someone to get open...which rarely ever happens in the NFL.
This is a habit from playing in a read zone option. When the zone read is working, which it was in the beginning of last year for us and is still working for some like Seattle, 49ers and Washington, you tend to end up with WIDE OPEN receivers when the defense has to commit an extra man to stop your rushing quarterback. The whole idea behind is it gives you a 1 man advantage over traditional offenses, and it's proven to work, just inconsistently. If anyone watched the Redskins-Cowboys game you would have seen just how sickly wiiiide freaking open his receivers got at times against the Cowboys. That's because the zone read completely got the defense to bite on his rushing, and failed to cover one of their receivers. We had the same thing with Steve Smith in the beginning of last year. It becomes very easy to complete passes when you have guys wide freaking open.
Problem is that outside of RG3 in Washington, no one's been able to make that last in the NFL more than a few games. Cam is used to that, it's what worked at Auburn, it's what worked last year here and he keeps looking for that. But once that gets shut down, in the NFL you are required to read defenses, based on what you read you have to be able to find the best match-up to exploit(e.g. wide receiver on a linebacker) and throw to a specific spot
on the field where you anticipate the route of your receiver to take him. All that needs to be done in about 2.5 seconds, whether you are being rushed or not.
That's what he is having trouble with and yeah it's pretty easy to see. It's what he does when he doesn't
have those wide open receivers. I don't see him quickly playing the chess game, figuring that out in a quick and decisive manner like I just saw Colin do it tonight. Like I see 2nd year Andy Dalton who is showing measurable
improvement from last year. Or even first year
RG3. He's not even on par with him.
And you are correct, that the less passes he throws the less interceptions he throws, but as you stated fewer touchdowns as well. Efficiency is what matters in this case. TD/Int ratio. That's actually gotten worse this year.
Now I don't know if Chud is not letting him try playing from under center in practice. Maybe he is. But if he is already having these issues, you tend to have more time and it's a lot easier to survey a defense from the shotgun position, than while trying to do your drops from under center. It's a lot easier to anticipate and beat a blitz out of shotgun than when you are under center. It's also a lot easier to try and make the zone read work, because you can end up with wide open receivers which helps Cam out a lot.
But if you prefer to use the eye test, sit down and truly spend some time watching 2nd year quarterbacks like Dalton, Colin last night....heck....watch even first year RG3. Night and day. Watch how fast they make their decision to release that ball or take off for the run without any hesitation. And if you want to watch pros, watch how Brady and Rodgers always find and exploit match ups. Because I think if you actually do that for a couple of games, you will easily be able to figure out he's nowhere near that point.
For those fans that have only paid attention to Panthers quarterbacks, I hate to say it, but you will never be able to "see" anything wrong with it.