Cam Newton has been a dual-threat option for the Carolina Panthers during his first two seasons in the NFL. His ability to run in addition to throwing for nearly 8,000 yards already in his career gives the Panthers a dynamic threat at the quarterback position.
That being said, the Panthers want to reel Newton’s running in just a little bit. According to Dan Pompei of the National Football Post, Panthers offensive coordinator Mike Shula still understands the need to utilize Newton’s athletic skills but want him to make better decisions with the ball in his hands.
“In this run/read offense, there are decisions he makes with the option,” Shula said. “Don’t make decisions where he gets hit right away. If you are not sure if you should hand it off or keep it, then hand it off.”
Newton actually led the Panthers in rushing last year and that’s not something Shula wants to see again. He still wants to take advantage of Newton’s skills and realizes the advantage it gives the team offensively. However, Shula says the key is to find the best way to do so while protecting Newton in the process.
“That first year you wanted to do everything with him, and we still do,”Shula said. “The challenge is to keep him healthy doing those things.”