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Panthers let Cam Newton call plays during practice

AP

Panthers coach Ron Rivera insists his offense isn’t behind — even though they’ve been without quarterback Cam Newton all offseason and first-rounder Christian McCaffrey until Thursday’s final day of minicamp.

But to make sure Newton was keeping up while recovering from shoulder surgery (he’s expected to start throwing soon, perhaps as soon as next week), the Panthers let their quarterback take the microphone from offensive coordinator Mike Shula and call the plays during Thursday’s practice.

“He said, “I’m not sure I like doing this,'” Rivera said with a laugh of Newton’s extra responsibility.

It’s actually good practice for Newton, since they’re installing a lot of new stuff, including plays to take advantage of McCaffrey’s unique set of skills. They worked on some of those plays Thursday, though Rivera dropped in a cautionary “I hope nobody tweeted about that.” Realistically, the Panthers have been talking about ways to use McCaffrey’s abilities as a runner and receiver since the moment they drafted him, so the things they’re doing aren’t necessarily unique concepts.

But without him for the majority of OTAs (because Stanford’s on the quarter system and that’s somehow important to a guy who withdrew from school months ago), and without Newton throwing, the Panthers are taking it on faith that their offense is going to be able to evolve.

Rivera said they installed all the things with Derek Anderson and Fozzy Whittaker that they’ll do in six weeks with Newton and McCaffrey, declaring “we’re in a good place right now” offensively.

The hope is that when their regular parts return, the guys who haven’t been running them will make a difference for a team that went flat last year.

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6 Responses to “Panthers let Cam Newton call plays during practice”
  1. Lemmy Aksyadis says: Jun 15, 2017 12:56 PM

    43 Samba left, foxtrot power right, dab on 3

  2. irsaysneedle says: Jun 15, 2017 2:15 PM

    his favorite play is the ‘hot potato’ where you fumble the ball and run away from it…

  3. bobthebillsfan says: Jun 15, 2017 2:43 PM

    Should be an interesting division race next year. Can the Falcons recover? Have the Panthers recovered? TB is up and coming. What will AP do for the Saints? Bet 10-6 takes the division.

  4. mnflga says: Jun 15, 2017 3:30 PM

    irsaysneedle says:
    Jun 15, 2017 2:15 PM
    his favorite play is the ‘hot potato’ where you fumble the ball and run away from it…

    The calluses on your hand for milking that joke is in seriously poor condition.

  5. nathanp2013 says: Jun 15, 2017 4:37 PM

    Were all of the plays audibles to QB draws?

  6. akemp3000 says: Jun 20, 2017 11:15 AM

    The NFC South has four exceptional QBs, all with great skills. Two of the four also have character and leadership traits to be admired. The other two recently came into the NFL more recently with checkered “all about me” baggage from their college days. The lack of character rarely withstands the test of time. We’ll see if one or both can break tradition.

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