Cam Newton gets his first NFL touchdown pass

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Yeah, it’s the preseason.  Yeah, there’s still a week to go until the games count.  But we’ve got to work with what he have.

And what we have tonight is 15 preseason games.  In Carolina, rookie quarterback Cam Newton, operating primarily if not exclusive against Steelers reserve defenders, has thrown the first touchdown pass of his NFL career.

The 10-yard pass to tight end Jeremy Shockey capped a nine-play, 71-yard drive that knotted the game at seven.

Newton completed three of five passes for 25 yards, and he ran the ball once for 19 yards.  Bob Pompeani, calling the game for KDKA in Pittsburgh, said that the scamper went for more distance than any regular-season quarterback run in franchise history.

Making the run even more impressive is that it came one play after Newton was dragged down by Steelers linebacker Larry Foote after running laterally and throwing an incomplete pass.  Newton’s foot seemed to get caught under Foote’s leg, creating the impression of a possible ankle sprain.  But Newton popped right up and went to the huddle and then sprinted for nearly 20 yards.

The starting offense was expected to participate in two drives, but Derek Anderson has replaced Newton.