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A look back at Cam Newton’s first preseason game

New York Giants v Carolina Panthers Getty Images

It’s going to take Cam Newton time to develop into a quality starting quarterback.

In the meantime, at least the Panthers are a lot more interesting to watch.

Newton entered his first preseason game in the second quarter to a huge ovation, which only grew during a thrilling first drive. Offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski kept Newton on the move throughout the drive.

Newton made a short toss on the run and sold a terrific play-action where the defense all went with Newton because they feared his running ability.  Newton even had a run-pass option near the goal line.  Throw in a 30-yard dart to Greg Olsen up the seam and it felt like the Jimmy Clausen era was ready to end.

The Panthers wound up settling for a field goal on the drive, and the rest of Newton’s night wasn’t quite as exciting.

He did a lot of throwing off his back foot.  His accuracy was on and off, although he hit a few big plays.  The Panthers didn’t move the ball consistently, and Newton took a couple of hard hits.  (And he got up with a huge smile after them.)

Newton finished 8-of-19 for for 134 yards.  The numbers tell the story well. He showed a knack for the chunk play, but was erratic.   Newton got nearly one half of action, and the Panthers scored six points with him in the game.

Like the Panthers fans, we’re looking forward to seeing more.

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52 Responses to “A look back at Cam Newton’s first preseason game”
  1. axespray says: Aug 13, 2011 11:00 PM

    man, he sure lit up the giants….

    Cam Newton and Colt McCoy are gonna be this year’s MVP canidates…..

  2. captainwisdom8888 says: Aug 13, 2011 11:05 PM

    anybody but jimmy

  3. FinFan68 says: Aug 13, 2011 11:07 PM

    Newton made a short toss on the run and sold a terrific play-action where the defense all went with Newton…
    ~~~~~~~~
    If the defense follows the QB on play action, doesn’t that mean that the play action (fake handoff) was no good?

  4. fonetiklee says: Aug 13, 2011 11:10 PM

    Nah, I don’t think those numbers tell the story well. Admittedly I didn’t watch the entire game, but I saw at least two very catchable throws from Cam that were just outright dropped.

  5. hobartbaker says: Aug 13, 2011 11:10 PM

    Still he had 40% completion rate against second and third stringers. Mostly to Panther’s first string tight end. Gabbert and Dalton only rookies who played the number ones. Much less time for those guys, as you saw.

  6. joelvis72 says: Aug 13, 2011 11:14 PM

    Anybody but Beuerlein.

  7. scudbot says: Aug 13, 2011 11:16 PM

    Back Foot Newton. Perhaps an evaluation of fundamentals should occur before lavishing a #1 pick on a player.

  8. peester15 says: Aug 13, 2011 11:17 PM

    I think he did a pretty good job….but if you look at the tape, he went after his 1st target on every throw. I don’t remember him ever checking down. That worries me.

  9. headhoncho32 says: Aug 13, 2011 11:22 PM

    Well I assume he meant the defense went with Newton’s handoff, which makes the PA good.

  10. polishkingski says: Aug 13, 2011 11:22 PM

    i hope he fails just like i hope ryan mallet fails. you know why? i can`t stand loud mouth minor league guys talking sxxt before the ever step on a pro field.

  11. mwm367 says: Aug 13, 2011 11:24 PM

    If you had watched the whole game like us panther fans did, you would have seen everything and not just Cam. I like Cam. I’m a panther fan so I like all the guys. But truthfully, Derek Anderson in the 4th qtr had a nice drive with a TD pass. He looked relaxed and threw some sharp passes just like a veteran should. OK, he was playing against the giants 3rd string. But we had our 3rd string in too. Jimmy’s throws looked good except for the pick 6 that looked like just as much D-Wills fault as Jimmys. Make no mistake, the starting QB spot is still up for grabs. And even though Cam is the fan favorite, coach Rivera has decided that the job is Jimmy’s to lose. Whatever way it works out it looks like Tony Pike is the odd man out.

  12. thereisalwaysnextyear says: Aug 13, 2011 11:24 PM

    If tebow went 8-19 people would call for him being cut. Good luck cam. So glad not on my team

  13. whatswiththehate says: Aug 13, 2011 11:26 PM

    “He showed a knack for the chunk play, but was erratic.”
    —————
    Damn you sports media folks won’t give this kid a break. He was not errtic. He only mad two really bad throws..The offense fumble a couple and missed a couple that were real catchable but I guess it’s Cam, so anything critical about him will be easily bought.

  14. qdog112 says: Aug 13, 2011 11:33 PM

    Let the hate begin…..5,4.3….1 and we’re off. I thought Cam Newton was gonna take off and run every time he touched the ball. Did you see the 30 yard strikes he threw to Olsen and Edwards? Don’t worry, the Giants D didn’t see them either. The kid will be special. by the way Jimmy played OK too.

  15. rjkilla says: Aug 13, 2011 11:37 PM

    ridiculous evaluation…he had no protection and had to throw the ball away 3-4 times…also there were 3-4 drops…was he perfect? not at all. his accuracy wasn’t a huge problem and he didn’t break down and run once. stood tall in the pocket, showed good pocket presence when he had time. he’s not ready to start but he can make plays

  16. bullethead527 says: Aug 13, 2011 11:40 PM

    No mention of drop passes in the endzone??? that would’ve jumped his stats up, but he is a rookie, or what about that pancake block on that run play…….. Cam and Jimmy both looked good, imagine how bad Jimmy looked last year…………………….. Ok now i know it is only one game but he looked 100 times better this game even with the pick six, imagine Cam next year……………………………………………………….

  17. qdog112 says: Aug 13, 2011 11:41 PM

    mwm367, there is no QB controversy in Charlotte. No starter has been named. I suspect we will see Cam get more 1st team reps this week in practice and we’ll go from there. Jimmy played OK, but face it, it’s gonna be extremely hard for him to win the starting job. Anderson may be more comfortable coming off the bench, making Jimmy #3 before it’s all said and done.

  18. arcee510 says: Aug 13, 2011 11:42 PM

    FinFan68 says:
    Aug 13, 2011 11:07 PM

    If the defense follows the QB on play action, doesn’t that mean that the play action (fake handoff) was no good?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    NO, it means what it says. Cam actually handed the ball off to the back but because the defense feared his running abilities believed it to be a play action (in which Cam sold very well) so they followed him instead of the ACTUAL ball carrier.

  19. golonger says: Aug 13, 2011 11:48 PM

    Please…he sucks………..that was the most indirect and ridiculous analysis of a performance I have ever seen!

  20. mwcarolina says: Aug 13, 2011 11:52 PM

    honestly, the only panther QBs who impressed me today in the panthers game were the first two. Newton and Clausen. YES Anderson threw a TD, but it was a short pass that the WR did almost all the work and Anderson almost threw two interceptions, one was in the hands of the defender. he didnt play bad, but i would NOT move him above Clausen or Newton, both of them played well. Clausen had a bad pick, but came back and had a good TD and Newton wasnt perfect, but he was more poised than i expected.

  21. bullethead527 says: Aug 13, 2011 11:57 PM

    I didnt get to watch the game, but i followed it on NFL.com on my ipad, I but i did see the drop pass in endzone, and jimmy’s int, and his TD, mostly the highlights, and also Cam’s long pass plays. but what about are Defense, Davis, Gamble, Beason, CJ, R.Edwards and Hardy, and who else was out? We had 2nd and 3rd starting???? Did good though, no TO a couple of sacks!!!

  22. realpantherfan says: Aug 14, 2011 12:06 AM

    Some commenters need to delete their account. They don’t know anything they talking about……seriously ……. Cam throws were good on point a lot of times and the wr’s dropped the passes. Just like when armanti Edwards dropped one pass and the other got ripped. He had a better game then this article let’s on and numbers tell. So if you didn’t see the game then don’t go off this bs to form your opinion.

  23. CKL says: Aug 14, 2011 12:06 AM

    hobartbaker says:
    Aug 13, 2011 11:10 PM
    Still he had 40% completion rate against second and third stringers. Mostly to Panther’s first string tight end. Gabbert and Dalton only rookies who played the number ones. Much less time for those guys, as you saw.
    —————————————————————————

    I’m a Pats fan and i can tell you that the only starters Gabbert faced were Merriweather,maybe Bodden, and Chung. No Mayo,Spikes,Wilfork, etc.

  24. chiktikka says: Aug 14, 2011 12:09 AM

    You have to consider that Clausen was with the 1s and Newton was with the 2s. Newton had to rush most of his throws, he didn’t get the benefit of 2 pro-bowlers on a top 5 o-line.

  25. tatum064 says: Aug 14, 2011 12:19 AM

    hobartbaker says:
    Aug 13, 2011 11:10 PM
    Still he had 40% completion rate against second and third stringers. Mostly to Panther’s first string tight end. Gabbert and Dalton only rookies who played the number ones. Much less time for those guys, as you saw.
    =================================
    Avoided big mistakes, took care of the football, and provided big plays….I’ve seen much worse … will get a better feel in the next game against the first team.

  26. zibikbeer says: Aug 14, 2011 12:19 AM

    I watched the entire game, and Cam did pretty good. Before you look at his stats go back and look at the tape and see the drops. He should have easily went 11/12-19. Don’t forget he wasn’t playing behind the starting o-line. The biggest thing that needs work on is his qb vision, finding open receivers instead of throwing to his first option. Besides the pick 6 Jimmy looked pretty good too and the D was sharp without most of the starters.

  27. catman72 says: Aug 14, 2011 1:01 AM

    Cam looked damn good for a rookie in his first NFL game… many of the “erratic” throws he made amounted to him getting rid of the ball with a blitz in his face playing behind our 2nd and 3rd string OL.

    It was a no-frills throw from the pocket gameplan and Cam executed it well, we haven’t even called on his ability to run the ball yet.

  28. girlsinthesouthlovefootball says: Aug 14, 2011 1:24 AM

    Cam looked good. Like it or not, Cam Newton can play. He obviously hasn’t let the SEC investigation and all the controversy surrounding him and his family bother him too much. As an Ole Miss fan and SEC fan in general, I’m glad to see him do well. Go Cam!

  29. realpantherfan says: Aug 14, 2011 3:06 AM

    Some commenters need to delete their account. They don’t know anything they talking about……seriously ……. Cam throws were good on point a lot of times and the wr’s dropped the passes. Just like when armanti Edwards dropped one pass and the other got ripped. He had a better game then this article let’s on and numbers tell. So if you didn’t see the game then don’t go off this bs to form your opinion.

  30. asublimeday says: Aug 14, 2011 3:50 AM

    Jamarcus Russell had a good preseason game here and there too.

  31. johnnyb216 says: Aug 14, 2011 4:17 AM

    Let’s face it. The man is an entertainer and an icon. I can’t wait till his lifestyle apparel hits the market (sarcasm).

  32. klgeorge13 says: Aug 14, 2011 5:24 AM

    I for one was impressed by Newton. Considering he has had one week of practice, for him to show the poise that he did was surprising. Any rookie qb that comes in this year is at a huge disadvantage because of the lockout, and the loss of preparation that has caused. From what I saw he stood well in the pocket, looked down field, and was trying to make plays. One week in the NFL folks, that’s all he’s had. Not too shabby in my opinion. Future looks bright in Carolina, especially when Steve Smith can return to the field.

  33. jacksonjames4 says: Aug 14, 2011 5:26 AM

    i guess throwing off the back foot is not the way to make it in the NFL. brett favre only made it for 20 years throwing that way.

  34. mempusa says: Aug 14, 2011 6:32 AM

    I’ll take Cam over Dalton, Alex Smith, Tavaris Jackson, Gabbert and Henne. Sure he was 40% but he showed more promise than any of those mentioned. Cam’s a winner and has the drive to be successful. For you critics, I’d love for you to compare him to your QB. especially, the Jets. Sanchez was a complete wreck his first season. Not much different

  35. mwm367 says: Aug 14, 2011 7:00 AM

    All I know is this is not my 2-14 panthers from last year and i’m damn glad of that. All you haters can get back on the bus.

  36. whatswiththehate says: Aug 14, 2011 8:13 AM

    Isn’t it amazing how the couch analysts come out in droves when it’s about Cam Newton. I guess must be good cause if he wasn’t many would be so quick to find any and everything to criticize him about.

    The majority of these sports writers sit there and do nothing but gave empty praises to Blaine any chance they get, despite the clear obvious. But when it comes to Cam, it’s like he is over analyzed, scrutinized, and judged. I guess he doesn’t have the All American QB image these media folks love to fawn over or else his debut review would be a whole lot more positive.
    ————–
    hobartbaker says:Aug 13, 2011 11:10 PM

    Still he had 40% completion rate against second and third stringers. Mostly to Panther’s first string tight end. Gabbert and Dalton only rookies who played the number ones. Much less time for those guys, as you saw.
    —————
    Don’t know what game you were watching but the Patriots sat most of their first stringers and Blaine kept running from imaginary DLs.

    Maybe you should try reducing your personal hate towards Cam long enough to see reality.

  37. tatum064 says: Aug 14, 2011 8:52 AM

    asublimeday says:
    Aug 14, 2011 3:50 AM
    Jamarcus Russell had a good preseason game here and there too.
    ===============================
    No comparison..he had one of the greatest arms ever seen…his velocity, timing accuracy wasnt the issue, it was his work ethic, weight and inability to improve on reading defenses/o-line.

    Russell beat Denver and KC on the road…he just was inconsistent

  38. bingocostello says: Aug 14, 2011 9:02 AM

    looked real good for a guy with a big body and little brain (and ears)

  39. southcakpanther says: Aug 14, 2011 9:32 AM

    polishkingski says:
    Aug 13, 2011 11:22 PM
    i hope he fails just like i hope ryan mallet fails. you know why? i can`t stand loud mouth minor league guys talking sxxt before the ever step on a pro field.
    ——————-
    And when exactly has Cam talked sxxt?

  40. mrplow3 says: Aug 14, 2011 9:44 AM

    Why does Tebow’s regular season 300 yard/ multi TD game get invalidated because it was against 2nd stringers, yet Cam’s mediocre no TD game against 2nd stringers in a PRACTICE game prove he’s a winner?

    /head asploded

  41. nickster2k says: Aug 14, 2011 9:45 AM

    “It’s going to take Cam Newton time to develop into a quality starting quarterback.”

    I’m guessing about 30 years.

  42. sixsuperbowlrings says: Aug 14, 2011 9:47 AM

    Newton did impress vs. the third string. While he is mobile, it is my observation that the mobile QB’s tend to run as often as they can to help move the chains, and this retards their development as professional passers. Netwon is a look at me type of player ( They love the #1 ), who likes attention. While this type of persona can work at receiver or cornerback, they do not at the leadership positions. From what I saw, Locker and Mallet looked a bit better in their debuts and are closer to being NFL QB.

  43. sd1024 says: Aug 14, 2011 9:55 AM

    I really wasn’t that impressed. Maybe if the Edwards pass was agaie Edwards pass was against Terrell Thomas rather than Aaron Ross, but the reality is those were the scrubs..he didn’t see any elaborate blitzing…he didn’t see Osi and Tuck coming off the edge, and he still looked subpar. If I were a Panthers fan, and I’m not, Id be disappointed based on what I saw from Locker and Mallett. Those 2 guys, whom no one wanted, showed poise and accuracy and even in game 1 of careers were able to look like franchise QBs. Newton Gabbert Dalton Kaepernick and Ponder (just the fact Ponder went in AFTER Joe Webb) have to make you worry a bit.

  44. scudbot says: Aug 14, 2011 10:15 AM

    jacksonjames4 says: “i guess throwing off the back foot is not the way to make it in the NFL. brett favre only made it for 20 years throwing that way” which is the reason he holds the NFL all time record for INTs.

  45. gfan8611 says: Aug 14, 2011 10:25 AM

    These games aren’t even regular season speed and he got gun shy and started chucking everything off his back foot. What’s he going to do when he’s facing a teams best defense all game long with blitzes and coverages he’s never even dreamed of playing against? Strong arm and he used it to force passes to the guy he decided he was going to throw it to in the huddle. Not a good tactic.

  46. qdog112 says: Aug 14, 2011 10:34 AM

    sd1024 says: Aug 14, 2011 9:55 AM
    “If I were a Panthers fan, and I’m not, Id be disappointed based on what I saw from Locker and Mallett.”
    —————————
    Well, my friend I am a Panthers fan and I am certain we got the right rookie QB. Cam Newton is for real – haters beware. Good for Locker and Mallet, but neither will sniff the field this year and Locker accuracy issues may mean he holds a clipboard for even longer.

  47. ny82jy says: Aug 14, 2011 11:07 AM

    I watched the game he looked alright. But dam its so annoying to me when i see these guys on the field smiling and laughing after every dam play. He got drilled two times for a sack and he gets up with a huge smile almost laughing like its a joke. Take it a little serious cam cause eventually your gonna get killed by someone on the field with that nonchalant attitude and your not gonna get back up.

  48. wherezwaldo says: Aug 14, 2011 12:44 PM

    2007 JaMarcus Russell
    7 of 11, 76 yrds
    24 yrd TD throw
    1 sack
    114.2 passer rating

    Russell also managed a 96.4 QB rating his first Pre-season game.

    …just sayin

  49. hobartbaker says: Aug 14, 2011 1:03 PM

    Gabbert ran a tight ship. No botched snaps, fumbles, illegal procedure, wasted time outs. That was the big difference. Plus he wasn’t prancing around like a race horse on uppers after every competion.

    The 22 million dollar GRIMACE is going to really start wearing on teammates, opponents, and members of the general public after a few months.

  50. espnfeedback says: Aug 14, 2011 6:05 PM

    It appears that every time Newton is mentioned here there are a bevy of responders who are quick to compare him to Jamarcus Russell. This phenomenon fascinates me. What do these young men have in common…..REALLY!? Their games are completely different. Their skill sets are completely different. Their attitude and intangible leadership abilities are fathoms apart. I admit both sabotaged his career, yet at his lowest point Cam Newton, unlike Russell, DID NOT QUIT. He lifted himself up when many justifiably had given up on him and led two teams to national championship and in turn rehabilitated himself.

    They do have a couple things in common; they play QB, they are southern and one other physical characteristic. For all of you who wish Cam Newton ill will; that’s your choice, but in this new age we should be able to see past the lazy comparison, especially when there is a mountain of evidence to evaluate someones skill and character.

    btw. Maybe it’s simply my world view or maybe I’m just satisfied with the track my life has taken; but I wholeheartedly wish Jamarcus Russell and ANY other NFL’er who has washed out and failed to reach their potential good luck in any second chances that comes their way. We all love this league and The NFL is made better when talent is fulfilled……..After all for most of us It’s just a game, But it’s their lives!

    @ESPNfeedback

  51. chazatlas says: Aug 14, 2011 9:10 PM

    @espnfeedback
    They compare Newton to Russell because JaMarcus Russell was a young black QB that failed and they want Newton to fail too. Unfortunately “Jamarcus Russell” has become the new “N-word” when it comes to blk QB’s in the NFL. It’s just new code for closet racists. Just like after Pres. Obama won the White House many tea-party republicans began to say they wanted to, “take our country back.” Using code is a subtle way to publicly make racist statements without being so blatant or obvious. We know it when we hear it.

  52. wherezwaldo says: Aug 15, 2011 6:24 PM

    now I’m a closet racist?!? I thought he trumped Ryan Leaf as the all-time #1 bust, that’s where my comparison comes from kind sirs. And of course I was just sayin… I’m a Niners fan, and I’ve been dealing with a bust since 2005. Just sayin…

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