6:57 PM EDT, October 22, 2012
More eye contact, rollouts
Cam Newton's having a sophomore slump, and most of his struggles have to do with an eye discipline problem.
The Panthers starting quarterback not only eyeballs his targets inside the red zone, but he's plagued with a case of shifty eyes whenever talking to the media.
Newton's tendency to avoid eye contact makes him seem disingenuous. He's fueling his critics because of his post game press conferences, and until he learns how to play the political game his detractors will continue to add up.
It would also benefit the Panthers if they allowed Newton to create more big plays by rolling him out of the pocket and using his legs to produce first downs.
Ramp up the run game
The Panthers can revive the Cam Newton who was able to create considerable problems for opponents last year, and make everyone forget about the Cam Newton who has created considerable problems for the Panthers this year.
The Panthers just need to take some of the load off the young man's shoulders. The first step is to give him some help. The Panthers probably have the most talented running back trio in the NFL in DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert. Between them, they carried 15 times Sunday while Newton put it up 37 times. The Panthers rank 18th in rushing attempts per game, and they would rank much lower if you took away Newton's runs.
Newton needs to grow up
Los Angeles Times
It's not just the Panthers who need to do something about Cam Newton. Cam needs to do something, too. He needs to grow up. No more sulking on the sideline. No more pouting after losses.
He's tremendously talented, and now needs an attitude that matches that talent and engenders support from his teammates. He needs to be a leader.
As for the Panthers, they need to treat him like a quarterback. They have capable running backs in Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams. Let them run the ball. It's OK to have some wrinkles that take advantage of Cam's ability to run, but don't make them the foundation of your offense. Don't allow him to continue to try to do everything. His plate is full enough.
Give the young QB time
The Panthers haven't quite reached critical mass with Cam Newton, even though the young quarterback is experiencing growing pains. He committed two turnovers, and misfired on a pivotal fourth-down throw in a loss to the Cowboys. The rudderless Panthers are 1-5.
But the Panthers should stay the course despite Newton having six interceptions and a 79.3 passer rating. The former Auburn star has 26 career touchdown passes, 23 interceptions, 17 touchdown runs and 11 fumbles. Athletic and strong-armed, Newton's accuracy and decision-making still need improvement. Give him time, and he'll improve. In this league, you bet on potential greatness. Newton still has that within his grasp.
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