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Panthers want Cam to run around, just not too much

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton smiles after a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints during an NFL football game in Charlotte Reuters

The Panthers know they’re walking a fine line with Cam Newton.

On one hand, the offense is clearly better when he moves around. On the other, that exposes him to hits they don’t want him taking.

For the moment, they’re OK with him with it in his hands, after he ran 13 times for 71 yards in last week’s win over the Saints. He was limited to five carries for four yards in the previous week’s loss to the Buccaneers.

When he runs, it causes problems for defenses,” Panthers left tackle Jordan Gross said, via Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer. “That 40-yard run he had shows you it’s not like he’s just a slow quarterback running. He’s a threat on the ground. He threw the ball well, too.

“I think he plays better when he’s doing all that stuff. He kind of gets more in the groove of things and he throws the ball better and just has a better day usually.”

As with most things in life, it’s a complicated mix. They’re 6-3 when he runs for 50 yards, but only 1-4 when he’s the leading rusher. They key to his running is the opportunities it creates for his running backs and the coverages it loosens for downfield passing more so than any yards he accumulates.

And when those things happen, Newton’s not getting whacked.

“He gets hit, but not big. And I think there’s a difference in that, as well,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. “And a lot of the runs that we have are calculated. He’s reading for the most part as to whether or not it’s a good idea to hand it off or keep it.

“But it doesn’t hurt my feelings when he hands it off, though. I’m going to be honest. I do worry about him when he’s out there.”

As much as they worry about being in a groove or not when he’s carrying, it’s obvious where their offense would be if Derek Anderson was running plays.

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6 Responses to “Panthers want Cam to run around, just not too much”
  1. voiceofreasonsays says: Sep 19, 2012 8:31 AM

    I’ve said it before and stand by it, he will be figured out now that team’s see he is one dimensional.

  2. kingbeason52 says: Sep 19, 2012 8:53 AM

    Cant wait to see what Cam can do against that NY defensive line tomorrow night. I wouldent mind seeing Cam bring the business to JPP for that stupid bullying issue he had..

  3. qdog112 says: Sep 19, 2012 9:09 AM

    In order to maximize the “Cam effect”, Chud has to unlock the shackles and let Cam play football.

    To use Cam’s metaphor from last year, you can’t cage a lion and expect him to be the same. He’s gotta be free.

  4. qdog112 says: Sep 19, 2012 9:22 AM

    “voiceofreasonsays says: Sep 19, 2012 8:31 AM

    I’ve said it before and stand by it, he will be figured out now that team’s see he is one dimensional.”

    ****************************
    Which dimension would that be? The man threw for 4000 yards. Are you still holding out hope that he can’t pass? As much as you’d like that to be true – it NEVER has been.

    Cam threw the ball in college and backed it up by shattering NFL records as a rookie. Keep your fingers crossed or maybe buy a voodoo doll.

    The NFL will NEVER be the same. Get that through you thick skull.

  5. voiceofreasonsays says: Sep 19, 2012 9:58 AM

    Never be the same? There’s a rookie in DC who wears #10 who is already much better than Newton. Take away the deep ball and Newton is neutralised.

  6. joroberts10 says: Sep 19, 2012 12:09 PM

    1 dimensional? Serious? I love how when RG3 gets in the league, people think Cam is a joke and RG3 is better. Honesty, we don’t know who is better but what we do know is that they both are so good and will continue to be for the next 10 years or so

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