Friday, May 18, 2012

Cam Newton

I need to preface this before I begin.  First, I am a die-hard Panthers fan.  I have been a fan all of my life (except for the 3 years between my birth and the first game).  My family was a part of the charter PSL owners and their names will be forever engraved on the panther statues outside our stadium.  Second, I want nothing more than for the Panthers to succeed.   I hate sitting through 1-15, 2-14, and even 6-10 seasons.  I am ready for a playoff run which will result in bringing a Super Bowl championship to Charlotte.  Now that we have that settled, please do not question my fan-hood because I disagree with the team and have concerns about the direction of the organization.  I will be a Panthers fan until I die.

Now we get to the fun part.  My biggest concern right now is our starting quarterback, Cam Newton.  Newton  has only played in the NFL for one season but he has had a huge impact.  He has set numerous records including: most passing yards for a rookie, most total touchdowns for a rookie, most passing yards in one game for a rookie, most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in a single season, along with many other records.  So was the rookie season a success for Mr. Newton? Yes.  Was the rookie season a success for the Panthers? Not quite.  The team went 6-10 and looked bad for most of the season.  The team won 4 of the last 6 games but none of the games were competitive.  The best win of the season was in week 15 when the Panthers beat the Texans (a team who had already clinched a playoff spot and rested most of their starters).  The other 3 wins came against the Colts (1-15) and the Buccaneers (4-12).  At the end of the season I was not satisfied with the results.  My team had a "strong" finish to a mediocre season.

It seems that the 4 wins at the end of last season has everyone excited for the 2012 season.  Somehow, having your team beat crap teams and watching your quarterback embarrass himself at the Pro Bowl breeds confidence.  The thing that bothers me with Cam Newton is that he is perceived as "Superman" where apparently he can do no wrong.  When he throws an interception he walks off the field and covers his head with a towel but when he scores he celebrates it like he's never scored before.  In the Pro Bowl I think Cam Newton embarrassed himself.  In a game where the corners can't press the receivers, blitzes can't be called, and there is no intentional grounding, Cam Newton managed to throw 3 interceptions and get sacked twice.  Now I know the Pro Bowl is meant to be fun but his performance was dreadful.  As a rookie, you need to pay your dues to the league.  You need to work hard to show your peers that you are serious about being a Pro Bowl player.  Andy Dalton, also a rookie, took his role seriously.  He went 7-9 with 2 touchdowns.  Eric Weddle, another first-time Pro Bowler,  played his heart out.  He didn't go out and treat the Pro Bowl as a joke; he went out to prove himself to his peers.  Newton, on the other hand, seemed content to play for fun and take this experience for granted.  Newton should have made the most out of this experience especially under the circumstances.  He was a replacement for Eli Manning who couldn't participate since his team was playing in the Superbowl.  Cam Newton was lucky to escape with only 3 interceptions.  Many of his passes were not accurate and the defense had their hands on the ball before the receivers did.  Newton was not prepared for the Pro Bowl.  He was hoping to use this as a platform to prove how great he was but instead he made a fool of himself.  If Newton makes it to the Pro Bowl again, I certainly hope he takes it seriously (and tucks in his shirt).    I have come to two conclusions based off his Pro Bowl play.  Either Cam Newton thinks he has already "made it" in the NFL and has nothing to prove or Cam Newton isn't good enough to play with the best players in the NFL. (I find this unacceptable.  Where is the intensity or your competitive side?)

Newton has received an unprecedented amount of hype through his rookie season.  In my opinion,  it is not warranted.  Let's do a blind test.  Quarterback #1 threw for 3,398 yards, completed 58% of their passes, threw 20 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, was sacked 24 times, led their team to a 9-7 record and made the playoffs.  Quarterback #2 threw for 4,051 yards, completed 60% of their passes, threw 21 touchdowns, 17 interceptions, was sacked 35 times, led their team to a 6-10 record and did not make the playoffs.  Which quarterback would you rather have on your team?  Quarterback #1 is rookie Andy Dalton and quarterback #2 is Cam Newton.  Based on last years results, if I needed to choose 1 rookie quarterback to lead my team to a victory then I would probably choose Dalton because, as the numbers show, he proved himself to be a winner.  While Dalton has more wins than Newton, Newton puts on a better show.  He is more exciting to watch but the excitement probably won't result in a victory.  Dalton is not flashy but he gets the job done while Newton is flashy and looks good but doesn't always get the job done.  Granted, Newton did have 14 rushing touchdowns but the numbers show that the Panthers run offense didn't improve greatly with him at quarterback.  In 2009 when the Panthers had a healthy Deangelo Williams and Jonathon Stewart our run offense actually produced more yards than it did in the 2011 season.  Maybe Newton's talents are better suited for a different position.  I think this guy is most effective when he has the ball in his hands and is in open space.  Based on his performance last year I do not think his decision making is good enough for him to be an all-pro quarterback.  The Panthers offense was adapted to fit Newton's skill set.  Short throws to the tight-end were used to work the ball down the field.  The majority of Newton's "big" games came early in the season when teams did not have time to game-plan for our new offense.  While Newton threw for a lot of yards during the season, not all of the yardage was picked up in tight games.  The majority of Newton's yards were picked up while the Panther's were losing (source).  I don't think it is fair to pad your stats when your team is down 15 points with 3 minutes to go in the 4th quarter (GB game).  While his stats were impressive, the manner that he picked up the stats were not as impressive. (This is impressive).

Cam Newton has greatly benefited from the media hyping him up.  All his great plays are shown all over ESPN while he is forgiven for his poor plays.  There are articles written about how great he has played and I'm afraid that this will only feed his ego.  Newton is a good looking guy who looks like he is having fun when playing which people like to see.  I hope he doesn't let stardom get to his head.  Television announcers only talk about how great Newton is.  It is way too early for anyone to be predicting Newton as "the next big thing".  Newton needs to take a lesson from fellow NFC South quarterback Josh Freeman.  Freeman had comparable rookie season and at the end of the season there was talk about him being a star.  In his sophomore season he did not produce.  His numbers dropped off greatly and he was a part of a team that lost its last 10 games.  Newton needs to be aware that teams in the NFL will notice his weaknesses and look to exploit them.  He did not respond well to "boos" at the Pro Bowl and the fans in Carolina can turn on their quarterback when they don't play up to standards (ask Jake Delhomme).

Right now, I am not sold that Cam Newton is a great quarterback.  His passing yardage and rushing numbers were good during his rookie season so maybe he should be used as a running back who can throw or even a tight-end.  I am concerned that the fans in Carolina are willing to sit through 6-10 seasons as long as they have an exciting quarterback to watch.  I am concerned that Newton will not respond well if things do not go his way.  I am concerned about the future of my team.  I know this is not the popular opinion right now but there is an argument to be made.  You can't only look at the good in a player and refuse to see their faults.  Good stats aren't the only thing that matter (Look at Lebron James. ZING!).  I think there is a spot for Cam Newton on this team but I do not think it is at quarterback.

I hope you prove me wrong, Mr. Newton...


  1. You are an idiot. Do yourself a favor. Make a noose from razor wire. Gently slip said noose around your neck. Super glue both your hands to your face. Now jump. It will look like you ripped your own head off. That's about all that will save your shitty reputation after writing this blasphemous post.

  2. Thanks for your input on this post.

  3. So because the bengals had a better defense, and therefore, all around team, dalton is a better QB? come on now guy. The reason the Panthers lost wasn't Newton's fault, we had a top 5 offense and a bottom 5 defense. we lost 3 veteran starters for the year before week 3 even started, a rookie head coach, no offseason preparation, and we still managed a 6-10 record. Not bad considering the circumstances. The only reason we lost so many games last year was because the defense was god awful. We put up points all year, we just couldn't stop other people from doing so too.

    also special teams was pretty "special" if you catch my drift...

    Basically what I'm trying to say is, Newton did damn well. Really damn well. He was just a rookie and he lit up the league. The defense is what killed us. Not Cam.

  4. Anonymous5/20/2012

    "I think there is a spot for Cam Newton on this team but I do not think it is at quarterback." could be the dumbest statement ive ever seen, who would you want to be our quarterback clausen.... btw the huddle hates you.

  5. Anonymous5/20/2012

    "Either Cam Newton thinks he has already "made it" in the NFL and has nothing to prove or Cam Newton isn't good enough to play with the best players in the NFL. (I find this unacceptable. Where is the intensity or your competitive side?)"

    using this logic i guess we can safely assume that after dalton was utterly humiliated in the first round of the playoffs that he either a. thinks he's already made it and has nothing to prove or b. isn't good enough to play in the postseason. i mean where is his intensity or his competitive side, right? his team was utterly humiliated and he turned in a putrid performance when the bullets were live and they had everything in the world to play for.

    of course, it's totally not like that in reality. but that's the conclusion your logic leads us to.

  6. Anonymous5/20/2012

    if you were a fan and psl owner like you claim than you would know that the defense gave up leads in 14 out of 16 games last year. this is some clown wanting to get fame from throw crap on the wall. Dalton defense was ranked top 10 but he allowed them to go the playoffs were he threw picks and looked really bad. nice try.

  7. I'm sure Dalton's defense appreciated the 7 fewer interceptions that he threw as well. Dalton looked far more impressive in the playoffs than Cam Newton did.

  8. Anonymous5/21/2012

    you dodged the question. dalton and the bengals are in also your entire premise is based on special pleading and i'll explain why.

    i'm going to keep this to passing statistics because when you factor in newton's effectiveness as a rusher he obliterates dalton as an offensive weapon.

    first of all, let's compare apples to apples: in the regular season, newton threw 17 interceptions to dalton's 13. that is not a difference of 7 interceptions. i assume that what you're doing is comparing newton's regular season total + the pro bowl interceptions to dalton's regular season total without dalton's playoff interceptions. that's patently unfair and completely illogical. it would just be so utterly inconvenient for your argument if you factored in dalton's playoff picks (there were three) and it'd throw your tally all off.

    this is all textbook special pleading - omitting and permitting facts as it's convenient for your argument. lame.

    1. Well apparently I forgot how to subtract for a second. I was not factoring in playoff/ pro bowl interceptions. A simple typo which should have read "4 fewer interceptions".

      The point of this post was to open the eyes our fans to show that Newton still has a lot of growing to do. While his style of play can be exciting at times, if he continues to make stupid mistakes and does not improve in numerous categories then he won't be a successful quarterback. Exciting losses are not better than boring wins.