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Panthers can help Cam Newton most by asking less of him

Dallas Cowboys v Carolina Panthers Getty Images

Part of being the No. 1 overall pick in the draft means that the focus will be on you when things good poorly.

But the biggest thing the Panthers could do to help Cam Newton is staring them right in the face. Or in the wallet, anyway.

In yet another close loss (four of the five have been by a touchdown or less), the Panthers again largely ignored two of the biggest assets on the roster, running backs Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams, who had a combined 15 touches (only two of them runs by Williams).

That’s not a proper return on investment, considering the contracts they’ve received.

When Newton was asked about that lack of action for his backs, he was honest.

“I’m not the play caller,” he began. “When we run the football it hasn’t been exciting like we want it to be but you still have to call the plays. It’s kind of putting a strangle on our passing game.

“We’ve got to be more balanced, it’s evident, but the job’s got to get done, . . . We just find a way to keep the game close and just wait to see what happens at the end. I’m getting tired of it. That’s not a formula to win. Domination is a formula to win.”

When the Panthers beat the Saints, they ran 41 times and threw it 20. When they almost beat Atlanta on the road, it was 35 runs and 25 passes.

Sunday against the Cowboys, it was 21 rush attempts and 37 passes.

It’s easy to suggest the “it’s a passing league now” as a justification, but the problem isn’t that the Panthers aren’t passing efficiently enough.

The Panthers biggest problem at the moment is that they’re not deploying the resources they have properly.

Panthers general manager Marty Hurney and coach John Fox had a good run because they read off the same page of music, but right now, the Panthers coaches aren’t playing to the strength of the roster.

Newton wasn’t pointing fingers, he said several times he’s responsible and he expected more of himself.

Which is fair, and noble.

Williams, on the other hand, went on a passive-aggressive post-game Twitter rant, retweeting his followers’ suggestions in a feeble attempt to keep from being blamed for the complaining himself.

Even though he’s handling it kind of like a middle schooler, Williams has a reason to be frustrated. And so do the people who watch them.

Because as much promise as Newton has as a quarterback, he’s not going to get there if his play-callers keep tying one arm (the stronger one) behind his back.

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20 Responses to “Panthers can help Cam Newton most by asking less of him”
  1. thedownwardspiral says: Oct 22, 2012 8:34 AM

    Newton as a franchise QB? Baahahahahahahahahaha!

    Getting that guy on the postgame podium is suddenly must-see TV. What a train wreck…

  2. kevo126 says: Oct 22, 2012 8:45 AM

    But he is superman…

  3. southcakpanther says: Oct 22, 2012 8:46 AM

    I’ve been saying this all season. The Newton haters will blame this all on him, but he has been handcuffed with horrible game plans. The Saints game plan is the recipe for success for this team but Chud seems hell bent on trying to prove he is some sort of offensive guru. Our team is full of back ups at key positions and yet 4 of our 5 losses are by a touchdown or less. That is bad coaching right there folks.

  4. prince5000 says: Oct 22, 2012 8:55 AM

    Where is Ron Rivera in all this? He’s the head coach who needs to tell Cam Newton to shut up, grow up and stop acting like a 12 year old.

  5. fuglyflorio says: Oct 22, 2012 9:00 AM

    They’ll be saying the same thing about RG3 next year.

  6. metalhead65 says: Oct 22, 2012 9:10 AM

    funny how nobody was making excuses for him last year when he did everything himself,but now teams know how to play him it is the play calling? why do I get the feeling you will be saying the same thing next year about rg3? how about letting these guys play and win consistently before you anoint them as the greatest ever?

  7. worldsgreatestbearsfan says: Oct 22, 2012 9:15 AM

    I was in the car and got to hear part of the radio broadcast. The color guy was brutal on how the Panthers were coached, especially special teams. Guys not aware of the rules, just letting Dez Bryant catch the ball and giving him a buffer.

  8. punkmonkeyfaces says: Oct 22, 2012 9:15 AM

    You have two running backs that could start on any roster in the NFL and you give them a combined 15 touches? Talk about wasting talen and money.

  9. sportsmeccabi says: Oct 22, 2012 9:17 AM

    I have to complain about the officiating at the end. The refs whistled that the cowboys called a timeout when Carolina already completed the pass to get that first down on the final drive.

    Then the following play, the refs blew a pass interference call that should have been called on Morris Claibourne.

    And finally they called a horse collar on a tackle in which there was none to allow the cowboys to finish out the clock.

    I feel as if we weren’t even given a chance to score the go ahead touchdown.

  10. patfic15 says: Oct 22, 2012 9:40 AM

    Panthers don’t know how to coach this guy. Typical problem of not knowing how to coach an athlete. Young team.. offense that doesn’t know what it wants to do…and a locker room that is clearly an issue. Good luck Carolina. You’re gonna need it.

  11. patfic15 says: Oct 22, 2012 9:43 AM

    And no…they won’t be saying this about RG3 next year. Solid team…mixture of talent levels…good coaching…and humility. Exhibited this at Baylor…Cam is still the same Can he was at Auburn.

  12. enochmh2 says: Oct 22, 2012 9:47 AM

    lol people dont tear your acl’s jumping on and off the cam bandwagon. He has the skills to be a great franchise qb,he has made mistakes just like every young qb but you have to wonder what a team with $50 mill guaranteed in 2 rb’s has giving them 15 combined touches. Despite everything 4 of their 5 loses have been by a touch down or less

  13. eyeh8goodell says: Oct 22, 2012 9:58 AM

    Try as the league might, the entire league cannot become a passing league. Not enough top end QB’s and the weapons to go with. There will always be value in grinding a defense down with a solid rushing attack. Not to mention that the best defense against a high powered offense will always be to keep them off the field for as much of the game as possible through long grinding drives that bring the tempo way down. Not sexy for the ADD crowd that needs scoring to stay interested, but they don’t matter anyway.

  14. pantherfan4life0210 says: Oct 22, 2012 10:08 AM

    See this morning I commented on a blog about how ppl are going to jump off Cams train. Hes young and will most definitely make mistakes. See this is the reason why I cant stand some of our Carolina fans bc they want to throw someone to the wolves too soon. Cam is a 2nd year qb which means he has like 7 to 10 years left. Don’t judge someone amguy off of 2 years or even the first. Like I said this morning the worest enemy in the NFL is game tape. For the whine and cheese crowd pmease take note and shut up. Our future is brighter than it was with anyone else at qb. Give him time. Cam will come thru and I a firm beliver in him as a true panther fan.

  15. ramofsteel says: Oct 22, 2012 10:56 AM

    They were 6-10 last year…they weren’t very good. ESPN went INSANE over Cam’s stats and automatically turned him into “Superman.” Cam’s stats came during losses. Go look ‘em up. On top of that, their D hasn’t been the same since Peppers left, and Beason/Thomas always being hurt. Plus being in that division, it’s gonna be a hard climb up.

  16. thegreatgabbert says: Oct 22, 2012 12:13 PM

    Well, even when Newt isn’t delivering gems on the field, he leaves us with pearls of wisdom and insight off the field. “Domination is the formula to success”. It’s simple when you think about it, and it’s been sitting in front of us for all these years. How could it have been overlooked?

  17. openseason51 says: Oct 22, 2012 1:38 PM

    Too much money and too big a gamble for a kid who thinks he is better than Aaron Rogers. His mouth got the GM fired. Poor kid really tries but it is his lack of study and preparation. Lack of discipline. No more press conferences for that twit unless he goes out and takes the blame.

  18. jaymc1988 says: Oct 22, 2012 2:12 PM

    is issue isnt so much asking less of him as it is a terrible offseason a few months ago.. u get a stud superstar in cam and you would figure u need to upgrade weapons..wrong.

    they go out get ANOTHER rb for only god knows why, no wide recievers, greg olsen (best pick up). and thats it. lol i mean cams number 1 is an aging steve smith u NEED a monster wide out for this man..

    and for cryin out loud this is the NFL enough with that option BS..obv not working

  19. ernie ernie says: Oct 22, 2012 7:12 PM

    Hey in his mind he is the only talent and savior on this team. Its up to him to run the ball and pass the ball and score touchdowns.

    I remember the big game, his team at the 5. Told wife he is going to run it. No way he passes or hands off, his ego says he must keep the ball and be the hero. Sure enough he never even faked a hand off or looked for a receiver, he kept the ball and scored. Hey he did it for the draft pick not his team. It was all about him.

  20. badintent says: Oct 23, 2012 1:04 AM

    This guy is the next Vince Young !! Great physical talent that has a great rookie year, then finds out that teams scheme for him the next and has hissy fit all season. He QUIT against my Gmen. Flat out and got called out by his own team mates. Grow up son, this is the NFl, No Fu*king Losers league.Keep acting like a child, it will be the Not For Long league. The dude needs to study film, less commercial taping.Pathetic.

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