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Cam Newton leaves the door open

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton takes the field for warmups before his team's preseason NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins in Miami AP

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he would decide his starting quarterback before next week’s preseason game.

While Cam Newton looks like the favorite for the job, the rookie didn’t make a strong statement Friday night.  Newton completed 7-of-14 passes for only 68 yards in one half of work.

The Panthers didn’t score with Newton at quarterback. Heck, they didn’t get over midfield as Miami dominated possession.  When Newton misses throws, he often misses by a lot.  Two of his out routes were not even close, and he skidded a pass over the middle.

Newton used his legs more, running four times for 18 yards.  He did make some nice throws to his tight ends like last week, but this was a shakier performance than his debut overall.

Lucky for Newton, Jimmy Clausen didn’t do anything to stand out. He completed 9-of-15 passes for 69 yards.  Like Newton, his accuracy and decision making was erratic.  The Panthers scored 10 points with Clausen, but the touchdown came on the ground on a very short field.

If Rivera really does decide his QB next week, the tie figures to go to the No. 1 overall pick.

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46 Responses to “Cam Newton leaves the door open”
  1. cakemixa says: Aug 19, 2011 10:43 PM

    Looks like a 3-13 season for Carolina. Maybe they can strive for 4-12?

  2. bradybbgoat says: Aug 19, 2011 10:46 PM

    Rivera should just pick his guy and stick with him.

    Its only natural that young qbs will be up and down in the preseason.

    It will be a lot easier to evaluate who the starter should be once the games actually matter.

  3. chobes68 says: Aug 19, 2011 10:48 PM

    Waiting on all the Newton fanboys, “he’s gonna tear it up”, start their backtrack.

  4. whatswiththehate says: Aug 19, 2011 10:51 PM

    Got to love how u folks in the media expect Cam to be perfect when ur choosen QB for last year wasn’t any better and he was able to take full advantage of the OTA’s and TCs.

    Funny how you folks are quick to blame the offense when your choosen QB don’t play well but when it’s Cam, it’s all his fault.

  5. panthersftw says: Aug 19, 2011 10:51 PM

    Back to reality.

    Miami played their starters on O and D for the first two quarters. Yhe panthers didn’t. Miami went for it on 4th like four times.

    Still would have liked to have seen Cam convert a 3rd down

  6. prplpuzzetrz says: Aug 19, 2011 11:08 PM

    Comparing this year to any other is not an equal comparison …. 3 weeks with new playbook and min practice, what’s to be expected …. Like Tebow, cam is a winner! Give him time

  7. rukiddnme29 says: Aug 19, 2011 11:18 PM

    Pike must really suck then.

  8. mwcarolina says: Aug 19, 2011 11:22 PM

    the panthers were missing Smith (again) and have yet to solve the issue on who’s the 2nd guy. LaFell (to all the people who keep yapping on his potential) hasnt shown me he’s worth being the 2nd guy and i think a Mark Clayton needs to be brought in, honestly though Newton will have these kind of games, he’s a rookie. really the other rookies so far havent looked good this week. Mallett threw a BAD pick six, Gabbert was off today and now Newton. wont be hard for Dalton, Ponder, Locker and Kaepernick to look better this week.

  9. bullethead527 says: Aug 19, 2011 11:26 PM

    We still going to be a beast team, this year will be like Training camp and preseason all year long and next year we will play like we are in the playoff every game, hate all you want, we going improve every game, this is a great football team, we just got to iron the wrinkles out this year and we will shine next year. 7-9 to 9-7 is are range,

    wins Cards. Jags, Bucs (once), Tenn, Vikings, Redskins, lions, that is seven of the teams we will beat,

    I left off Texans, Bears, Packers, Saints and Falcons (Twice), colts, and then Bucs (we split),

    Argue all you want, we might even beat saints, last year at home we lost 14-16, so IMO those teams that want to sleep on us, we mighty catch you slipping!!!! Go Cam stay at it, I have faith in you!!!! Go panthers!!!!! Im a real fan not no bandwagon jumping fan!!! I keep it real

  10. cubano76 says: Aug 19, 2011 11:27 PM

    Jimmy Clausen didn’t look good or bad. I think you need to make a choice and stick w……you know what. Who cares!

  11. arm57romg says: Aug 19, 2011 11:33 PM

    Andrew Luck.

  12. MichaelEdits says: Aug 19, 2011 11:36 PM

    I have never ROFL in my life, but if my Panthers draft Terrelle Pryor, I probably will.

  13. cassrangers says: Aug 19, 2011 11:40 PM

    Lookin like they should have taking some other skill position and just banked on A. Luck next year… they’re going to look SILLY if they have the 1st pick next year now..

  14. chc36 says: Aug 19, 2011 11:40 PM

    Am I the only person who looked at that picture and thought “ZOOM ZOOM!!!” Only time will tell on Cam, I see him being a very Garrard like player. Maybe a good year here and there but mostly very mediocre

  15. cardsfann1 says: Aug 19, 2011 11:43 PM

    Cam has a long way to go it looks like. To bad he can’t hold a clipboard while learning the offense and speed of the game while a seasoned vet plays. Clausan is terrible. He was terrible at Notre Dame. He will always be terrible. Nothing against him personally. He is just not good. Newton will suffer for a while learning on the run.

  16. skoobyfl says: Aug 19, 2011 11:47 PM

    Luck then the next top QB, every year it’s groundhogs day with draft QBs.

  17. chiktikka says: Aug 19, 2011 11:48 PM

    The whole right side of the Panthers’ starting O-Line was out with injuries. Neither QB had more than a second or two to make a decision.

    Weren’t gonna mention that when talking about his off target throws, huh? That they all came when there was pressure before he was even finished with his drop?

  18. doe22us says: Aug 19, 2011 11:50 PM

    oh k how is that free spending $$$ working for you Jerry

  19. paulbrownsrevenge says: Aug 20, 2011 12:18 AM

    the question should be where does Jimmy end up? he deserves a legit shot on a team to start. Or he could be groomed to replace a big name. I know the Colt need a backup QB bad.

    No team takes a QB #1 overall and sits him for a guy one year ahead of him for long.

  20. groundpounder95 says: Aug 20, 2011 12:18 AM

    @bullethead….i see the carolina fans are as dumb as the owner. its called spell check. SMH….if you click on “edit” you will see an option for it. Unfortunately they dont have one for stupidity. like your prediction for this year.

  21. nomoreseasontix says: Aug 20, 2011 12:21 AM

    Just another run-around-in-circles “athlete” that’s a bad quarterback.

    Works great in college. Not so much in the NFL.

  22. raideralex99 says: Aug 20, 2011 12:36 AM

    So what does Warren have to say?
    Stop picking on my guy.

    I guess Cam was not worthy of the #1 pick after all … I know it’s pre-season and he’s a rookie but other rookies have looked good in pre-season and he was the #1 pick … show something … anything.

  23. sclazo says: Aug 20, 2011 12:53 AM

    Miami went for it on one 4th down. The 4th and goal and they punched it in. Other than that good luck this year Panther fans.

  24. granadafan says: Aug 20, 2011 12:54 AM

    Rookie QB doesn’t do well in his first pro start in the NFL. Shocker. Give the kid a chance.

  25. dolfan28 says: Aug 20, 2011 12:56 AM

    It’s too early to crucify Newton, the guy is only like 22. However, Carolina really screwed Clausen. Not sure I would have drafted another QB for the 2nd year in a row, give a guy a chance to learn the offense. So, if Cam struggles this year will they go after Luck too? Whoever is making decisions is making them purely for $$, and now they have 2 guys who aren’t confident in what they’re doing. Is having a top 10 selling jersey worth going 3-13? We’ll see…

  26. mrvikingsfan11 says: Aug 20, 2011 1:04 AM

    Cams going to be a bust just lick Tebow mark my words a bust!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. whatswiththehate says: Aug 20, 2011 1:08 AM

    Got to love how much the Cam Newton haters come out in droves. But say what u want, the kid is playing like any typical rookie despite all the silly pressure the media has put on him..
    Don’t believe me, go rewind Sam Bradford’s preseason games from last season.
    —————

  28. bullethead527 says: Aug 20, 2011 1:24 AM

    Chiktikka you is right, are o line needs to come together, or that vertical pass game wont work, it all starts in the trenches,

  29. phelbin says: Aug 20, 2011 2:27 AM

    Fortunately for the Panthers, Cam’s contract is only for $22M. When he turns out to be thoroughly mediocre – the poor man’s Vince Young – at least he won’t cripple the franchise financially for years to come.

  30. ilovefoolsball says: Aug 20, 2011 2:43 AM

    ya I really expect a rookie qb with one year of experience coming out of college early to light it up in his second preseason game, :yawn:

    He will get the nod and he will struggle, like all rookie qbs do, with the exception of matt ryan and bradford.

    The difference is when those rookies didn’t know what to do they threw an incomplete, took a sack, or threw a pick.
    Cam will run, and he will get yards, and he will eventually get rocked because every defensive player has a bullseye on his back, and this ain’t the SEC.

  31. pigeonpea says: Aug 20, 2011 3:53 AM

    Enough about Luck, already. There is no guarantee that any college player, no matter how successful at the NCAA level, will become a superstar in the NFL. The jury is still out on Newton, but after hearing about how awesome Quinn, Bush, Hawk, and Leinart were supposed to be, I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if Newton busts.

    Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger are aguably the top 5 QBs in the NFL right now, and only Fivehead was taken in the Top 10 of his respective draft year. By comparison, since 1999 there have been 10 QBs picked first overall in the draft, and with the exception of Eli Manning, none have accomplished anything of any significance at the pro level (sorry Dawgkilla fans). Alex Smith, Tim Couch and Jamarcus “Loves Me Some Sizzurp” Russell have proven to be definite busts, and Matthew Stafford, Sam Bradford, and Cam Newton haven’t played long enough to assess their prospects.

    I swear the draftee hype machine is orchestrated by greedy agents who want to maximize their 3% cut each draft day. Hopefully the rookie wage scale will put an abrupt end to it once and for all.

  32. marcus158 says: Aug 20, 2011 5:10 AM

    Start Clausen with Anderson as back-up and Newton 3rd.

    Newton isn’t ready to start yet and shouldn’t be guaranteed the job just because he was the 1st overall pick.

    And Derek Anderson is terrible who ballsed it up at two teams.

  33. thetooloftools says: Aug 20, 2011 7:10 AM

    this is a battle of “who could care less”.
    this team isn’t going anywhere anyways.
    I wasted bandwidth even commenting on these freakin’ losers.

  34. stvang says: Aug 20, 2011 7:55 AM

    Denny Green Called:

    They are who we thought they were!

  35. scudbot says: Aug 20, 2011 8:02 AM

    Too bad the Panthers will be out of money when Matt Flynn hits the market.

  36. tooz72 says: Aug 20, 2011 9:06 AM

    Andrew Luck will be there for them @ #1 in next years draft

  37. dustiebottums says: Aug 20, 2011 9:22 AM

    For me when i try to look at how a QB will fair in the NFL, I look at how well that person speaks. Quick decision making has everything to do with how the brain processes information. Cam is horrible when it comes to giving interviews. If you dont believe me, go watch him in the Camp Gruden show or any other interview for that matter. Im not questioning his physical talent just how well his brain can use it. I guess there would be a reason Im not a GM for an NFL team, but if I was, there would have been no way I took him with the #1 pick.

  38. richm2256 says: Aug 20, 2011 9:49 AM

    I thought Cam Newton was the second coming of Johnny Unitas? Now I’m hearing excuses about his O-line, he’s a rookie who hasn’t had much time with the playbook …… yada, yada, yada….

    Very few rookies come in and start like a world on fire … which is why Newton’s supporters shouldn’t come in touting what a huge difference maker the guy’s going to be.

    You shot your mouths off talking up the guy, now you’re shooting your mouths off defending the guy when he didn’t live up to the hype you helped create.

    Personally, I don’t have any hope for a quarterback who gets notoriety for his running skills over his passing skills.

  39. achap39 says: Aug 20, 2011 9:50 AM

    The fact that the Panthers had EIGHT minutes of TOP in the first half, and mustered only two drives of 7+ plays all game doesn’t really bode well for creating a QB controversy, Ron.

  40. qdog112 says: Aug 20, 2011 10:46 AM

    The Panthers were beat in every phase. Cam looked human, but he’ll be OK. Did someone say it was a preseason game? Don’t bet your house against this kid. You might end up under a bridge.

  41. catman72 says: Aug 20, 2011 2:40 PM

    If you watched the game, Cam made a few very nice throws and in general looked very poised for a rookie QB starting his first game… he clearly has the mental and physical skills to be a successful NFL QB, it’s only a matter of time.

  42. panther17 says: Aug 20, 2011 4:43 PM

    chc36 says: Aug 19, 2011 11:40 PM

    Am I the only person who looked at that picture and thought “ZOOM ZOOM!!!”

    ______________________________________

    Cam obviously plays Just Dance 2 with his favorite being Rasputin.

  43. shadowgm1 says: Aug 20, 2011 7:33 PM

    Why is anyone surprised that this occurred? He wasn’t facing a third string defense with young safeties to challenge when coverage mixups occur. His only strength – and in my opinion the reason he will never succeed – is his penchant to run first and neglect any check down type of method. That’s why the TE’s and backs are get worked more than wideouts each game. He prefers to throw on the run with horrid mechanics and throw “falling away” off of his back foot, which will inevitably result in multiple incompletions and interceptions.

    The excuses are amusing. I read one say it was a result of missing pieces of his offensive line. THIS MAN GOT WHERE HE IS BY BEING A ONE-READ AND RUN QB, GENTLEMEN. Name a star on the Tigers offensive line. The Panthers organization is betting on him to be able to elude the rush and throw accurately downfield. Two problems are the strength, speed and power at this level negates anything that his agent called “talent” at the collegiate level. Another said it’s because he did not have enough time with OTA’s and TC’s. WTF? Can you strip a kid of all his pre-coached and instinctual tendencies from a overrated offensive system (like the spread option) with no league translation at the pro level? They can strip all that programming, probably there since he started playing football, in one offseason, or even three full seasons? NO WAY. Yet another compared him (laughably) to Sam Bradford. New England’s spread system Bradford ran at Oklahoma is in no way similar to the makeup of a Meyer inspired option spread emphasizing quarterback rushing. The best of all was the guy claiming that because they “almost” beat the Saints last season, they should get one of the two wins this year, and therefore gain six or seven more because they “should be able to” beat the Saints. Who the h*ll did NO even have as a running option in that game? There were no running backs left by season end last year and even a team as godawful as Carroll’s Seahawks were able to squeak by them.

    Get used to the frustration – this was an awful decision. It will only get worse from here, Panthers fans. Yet another spread option QB (much like Alex Smith, Vince Young and Tim Tebow) who will not fit in this league.

  44. tarheelpirate says: Aug 21, 2011 12:06 AM

    Aw, @shadowgm1 didn’t watch the game but tried his best to critique the starting QB. Good try, buddy.

  45. stellaboycarl says: Aug 21, 2011 9:44 AM

    tarheel you cant argue with know it all fans of other teams. Who are quick to point out this is the core of a 2-14 team yet, forget same said core went 12-4 two seasons earlier.

    They are quick to judge without actually watching a season.

    people to put it simple stay off espn they don’t know jack about carolina and apparently neither do you.

  46. shadowgm1 says: Aug 21, 2011 10:25 AM

    You know what they say, Panther fans…denial’s a b!tch. You really can be blind and still lead the blind.

    I’m not forcing any of you to agree with me, just don’t be surprised when it happens. I already sense the frustration building in the myriad of responses.

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