Bucs game-planned, drafted with Cam Newton in mind


Greg Schiano wasn’t around last year when the Panthers outscored the Buccaneers 86-35. He didn’t preside over the Panthers rolling up 718 total yards, 594 of which were accounted for by quarterback Cam Newton (throwing and running).

But Schiano knows stopping Newton is his foremost challenge this week, and is drawing a plan specifically for one opponent, like he did in college.

Of course, the Panthers do have help for Newton in running backs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, wide receiver Steve Smith and tight end Greg Olsen, but they know where it starts.

He adds a dimension to the game that coming from college I’m probably more used to than some of the guys that have been in this league for a while,” Schiano said, via Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune. “Of course, just because you’re familiar with it doesn’t mean you can stop him. Not many people have. But it really isn’t about stopping him, because players like that are going to get their plays. What you do then is you just try to limit them, because that offense is an explosive offense.

“They’ve got an explosive player in [Newton], two explosive [backs] and explosive players at wideout and tight end. So you have to kind of pick where you’re spending your resources and hope the other guys don’t get you, which doesn’t sound very reassuring, does it?”

Of course, the Bucs are a different team than the ones Newton shamed a year ago. Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy didn’t play in either matchup, and it’s easy to suggest that rangy safety Mark Barron and fast linebacker Lavonte David were drafted in the first two rounds with a multiple-threat opponent in mind.

Barron, who was on the wrong side of Newton at Alabama, said he sees a more disciplined player on tape.

“He was quick to take off and run more in college but now he’s a little more patient,” Barron said. “I also think he was a little underrated as a passer in college. Now, with that year under his belt, I don’t think he’s underrated at all.”

The Bucs are making sure he’s not when it comes time to game-plan, because the ones who were around last year know how dangerous he can be.

23 responses to “Bucs game-planned, drafted with Cam Newton in mind

  1. good luck with that… Newton is too fast for linebackers and too big for safeties, how do you stop him? I would zone him in some wierd 2-4-5 nickel… and then pray

  2. I think the Bucs are much improved this year. They flat out quit last season. Should be a good game. That Bucs run game with that big o-line and rookie RB plus V Jax will be a test for our sorry defense. This has a 31-27 type feel to it, with a coin flip on who can win it.

  3. I remember back in the early 2000’s when Michael vick was the “unstoppable” one. The bucs neutralized him by having Derrick Brooks spy him all game and the bucs won easy. Now I know cam is better than vick but just maybe you have lavonte david spy cam and deter him from running the ball. After last year I’m willing to try anything to stop him

  4. Look at Newton’s stats against teams with winning records. Eight of those games and he only won one of them. The experts are saying he’ll be a MVP someday but they said the same thing about Freeman last year.

  5. I expect this to be a close game, high scoring or low scoring. I think T.B. improved enough to make this a rivalry again. Hopefully not too much though, lol.
    Go Panthers!

  6. bucsfan5000says:

    “Look at Newton’s stats against teams with winning records. Eight of those games and he only won one of them. The experts …”

    Comparing apples to oranges here buddy. First, Newton did it without an off-season to prepare. Coming from a spread offense, that is no easy task. Second, while Freeman was pretty solid a couple of years ago, his production wasn’t anywhere near Cam’s. He had fewer INTs, but he was in a run heavy offense with a decent defense. Both are good, it is just that Cam is more physically gifted. So it as of now, his ceiling appears higher.

    If Cam had an off-season to prepare, and Freeman’s team depended on him as much as Carolina depends of Cam, then it would be a better comparison. And no I am not a Carolina fan, just an unbiased (when not talking about NFC East teams) Eagles fan.

  7. mike83ri says:
    Sep 4, 2012 12:35 PM
    Ya but… don’t forget about that Drew Brees guy. He’s not bad either.

    Somehow I feel like Drew Brees will not create a problem for Tampa this week.

  8. he should prob focus on scoring some points also. the panthers D is vastly improved over the crap fest it fielded last year. don’t see this one going great for the bucs

  9. In the NFC South, you HAVE to have speed at defensive end and linebacker, or you’re dead. When your defenses are facing Cam, Drew and Matt twice a year, the best strategy is one that gives your defense the best chance of getting to the QB quicker than he can deliver or escape. Only way to do that is with speed on the outside.

  10. Really, bucsfan5000, really? Yeah, Newton lost all those games for us, what a joke. Maybe, just maybe it had something to do with our defense that was decimated by injuries. Newton is the main reason we were in all of those games, not the reason we lost them. The experts said that about Freeman because they had not seen Cam yet. Freeman’s chances of ever being MVP are somewhere betweeen slim and none. Cam on the other hand…the future looks pretty good for Panther Nation.

  11. I’m a huge bucs fan and Used to love playing the panthers cause it was always a battle. Now it’s totally different with cam around and I can see him and Barron going at it for years to come. They had to draft him into my division!! Like we don’t have enough to worry about with Matt Ryan and Drew Brees. New year, new D, and hopefully and new outcome then last years.

  12. Ya cam is so unstoppable that he won 6 games last year… And who said Cam is better than Vick, how can you say that? Vick has had success. Vicks first season in the league that he STARTED he went to the playoffs. Cams stats got worse as the season went on, much like Vicks stats have gotten worse as the years have gone on. These running qb types make large splashes when they enter the league, but it just takes some film study and these guys don’t pose a huge threat. Sure he is still dangerous, but as long as guys do what they are supposed to on D, its all fine. Again, Cam isn’t some great passer and you will see that this season. The Bucs should win this game in Ray Jay. I don’t go by last season AT ALL. As someone said earlier, we quit. Remember that were 4-2 and had beaten the Saints and Falcons in Ray Jay before the skid. This team is not as far off as some would think. But we should beat the lowly Panthers (again they were a 6-10 team last season; no need to hype them up).

  13. anything could happen and they could get shut down in any game, but as good as their running game is (3rd in nfl in rushing last year) if you focus everything on cam, their running game could still do a lot of damage.

  14. You gotta keep Newton guessing by throwing some unusual looks and blitzes his way. The Bucs can now blitz Ronde or Baron from the safety positions, Lavaonte David from the weakside linebacker position or Mason Foster from the middle…not to mention an upgraded D-line with McCoy, Clayborn and Bennet. Can’t wait till Sunday!! I’m driving down from North Georgia to see Bucs tame the kitty cats!!!

  15. bucsjake says:

    “Ya cam is so unstoppable that he won 6 games last year…”

    A 4 game improvement mostly on the shoulders of a rookie. Actually, that is pretty impressive. So your premise that he “won 6 games” actually is an arguement that supports the conclusion that he is that good.

    Andy Dalton did help the Bengals to a 5 game improvement, but I doubt any knowledgeable observer would say that the Bengals depended on Dalton as much as Carolina depended on Newton. Not to demean Dalton’s impact, because he is also a future star QB (in my opinion) but like I said before, Cam’s physical gifts gives him the edge. He just has a higher ceiling.

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