Blog Entry

Starting might not be best for Newton, Panthers

Posted on: September 2, 2011 10:33 am
So Cam Newton starts for the Carolina Panthers. That's no surprise. It could, however, be a mistake.

Newton is not ready to step into the pro game, and that was apparent in the Panthers' dress rehearsal a week ago vs. Cincinnati. He looked lost at quarterback, making poor decisions and bad throws. Essentially, he looked like what he is -- a rookie trying to figure out the most difficult job in football.

Only he had six weeks to solve the puzzle. Normally, he would have mini-camps, OTAs and quarterback camps to pick up the pro game, but all that got flushed during the lockout. So Newton reported in late July and will start in early September, and good luck. He looks no more ready to play the position than Jimmy Clausen did a year ago.

But the Panthers have little choice. They can't sell their fans on Clausen or Derek Anderson, so give them Newton -- ready or not -- and that might not be good for him or the franchise. Reason: In a lot of respects it reminds me of the Ryan Leaf situation in San Diego years ago, one that Carolina GM Marty Hurney knows all too well.

Hurney worked with the Chargers, was mentored by then-GM Bobby Beathard and left just before the Bolts drafted Leaf. He knows, however, the impact Leaf had on the franchise and on Beathard. He took both down with him.

What is intriguing there is that when San Diego drafted Leaf the Chargers were told by people who knew Leaf not to start him immediately; that he had a sense of entitlement that would only be fed by the move. If he was going to succeed, coaches were told, he would have to work for the job.

Coaches nodded, said they understood, then started Leaf. He won his first two games. Then he self-immolated and within five years was out of football.

That could happen to Newton. The best thing for him is not to start. He, too, has a sense of entitlement, and I can't help but believe he and the Panthers would be best served by having Newton sit and watch. But that won't put people in the seats. So the Panthers start Newton, cross their fingers and hope he's not Ryan Leaf.

Is Cam Newton more talented than backups Derek Anderson and Clausen? Sure, he is. But Donovan McNabb was more talented than backup Doug Pederson in 1999, when Philadelphia made McNabb its first-round draft pick. Nevertheless, McNabb sat for half a season because he wasn't ready and because ... well, because it was the best thing for his future and the future of the Eagles.

Within a year, McNabb had the Eagles in the playoffs. Within two he had them in the conference championship game.

Cam Newton has a ton of ability. But so did Ryan Leaf. And there is so much more than ability that goes into making quarterbacks. I can't help but think that Leaf might have had a chance if the Chargers were more patient. I can't help but think that Newton's chances of making it would be enhanced if the Panthers were more patient, too.

Category: NFL

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 16, 2012 7:33 pm

Starting might not be best for Newton, Panthers

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 26, 2011 8:27 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Nov 28, 2011
Posted on: November 29, 2011 3:36 am
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Since: Sep 17, 2011
Posted on: October 27, 2011 8:17 am

Starting might not be best for Newton, Panthers

Wow, you look like an idiot now with your lame opinions.  You know, and knew nothing about Cam Newton or the game of football.  Now get back to "guessing" if players are going to be good or not.  And do yourself a favor... Do some research on a player, rather than guessing if Newton will be a good NFL QB.  Newton is a bust huh?   Looks like the only bust is that crap coming out of your mouth.  Ohh bout them Cavs?    hahahhahaha  The Cavs deserved that.  Worst sports city in the world.

Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: October 23, 2011 11:02 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Mar 6, 2010
Posted on: September 5, 2011 12:23 pm

Starting might not be best for Newton, Panthers

Carolina might as well play the guy. The sooner they find out that the guy can't play QB in the NFL, the quicker the franchise can begin to put the pieces back together after being the latest idiotic front office to take yet another SEC QB who can't read defenses. Newton is a bust. He was the product of the perfect stat-producing storm at Auburn. One read, then run. Works in the SEC. Doesn't work in the NFL.  Carolina will be suffering the consequences of this for a long time to come, and they deserve it.

Since: Jul 31, 2011
Posted on: September 3, 2011 7:52 am

Starting might not be best for Newton, Panthers

You guys are morons to excuse the actions of the front office in getting a qb that will be the owner of some daycare and titty bar on sw charol.cause he cann't play is unexcuseable. As a fan i have read the writhing on the wall and the expections of the playoffs that we had was built from a good defence not a crapy qb with a awful moral compass.  Get a grip on it we will have 4 lossing seasons as long as scam starts. CALL THE TRUTH HATERS CAUSE YOU HAVE YOU HEAD UP CAM ANUS!  THE TEAM HAS FAILED ITS FANS AND JUDGE JUST TOLD THE TRUTH!

Since: Oct 17, 2009
Posted on: September 3, 2011 4:21 am

Starting might not be best for Newton, Panthers

The only entitlement going on here... is this bozo writer that has no clue about Cam Newton or the NFL.

His garbage is terrible and worse than that.  He is a CAM HATER.  The other day he was spewing BUST.

Since: Mar 19, 2008
Posted on: September 2, 2011 11:43 pm

Starting might not be best for Newton, Panthers

Judge, why so much disdain for Newton? Did you actually watch more than 5 minutes of Panthers preseason games? Clausen is no better than last year and Derek Anderson would only be a short term answer, why not start right from the beginning and let Newton give this team a chance? Thank God YOU dont run the Panthers or my team would be screwed. It comes down to Clausen and Newton behind questionable O-Line play and Newton's legs give him the edge...not to mention Clausen keeps throwing INTs and Newton has NONE. Get a clue you tool.

Since: Nov 14, 2008
Posted on: September 2, 2011 7:26 pm

Starting might not be best for Newton, Panthers

What's worse? Judge's hatred of Newton, or Prisco's jock-sniffing of everything Brady or Manning? Close call. This is kind of a no-brainer...Jimmy Claussen...we know he sucks, he proved it last year by being the worst starting NFL QB in the league...Derek Anderson...the only guy he was better than last year was Claussen (looks like he came to the right team!)...he sucks...

Newton hasn't played a regular season snap yet. He has potential. Even if he has growing pains learning on the job, it's better than the two other guys, who are proven turds.

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