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.