Falcons DC Marquand Manuel on Cam Newton: “He’s a different athlete than anybody”

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Even with the offense of the Carolina Panthers struggling to find consistency this season, Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel isn’t about to take their upcoming opponent lightly.

That’s because Cam Newton is still their quarterback.

According to Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com, Manuel is still plenty worried about what Newton can do to carry the Panthers offense.

“(Newton’s) different,” Manuel said. “He’s a different athlete than anybody. When I say he’s the best player in our league, he’s a different athlete than anybody else. So you have to be unique and understand that he can break tackles.

The Panthers rank 21st in total offense and 23rd in points per game through the first eight weeks of the season. Newton is completing a career-best 63.1 percent of his passes but has still thrown more interceptions (11) than touchdowns (10) so far this season. But when Newton’s played well, the Panthers have won. They are 5-0 in games where Newton has thrown one or zero interceptions.

That still makes Newton and the Panthers dangerous. Manuel’s well aware that stopping Newton is vital to the Falcons chances on Sunday.