The Carolina Panthers have made it clear they don’t want Cam Newton running as much as he’s done in years past. But Newton’s not a fan of this plan.
Speaking with media Thursday (wearing a very interesting outfit, we might add), Newton elaborated.
“I don’t understand certain things,” Newton said on Thursday, the first time he’s spoken in depth to reporters since undergoing shoulder surgery in March, per David Newton of ESPN. “That’s my edge. You going to expect a lion not to roar?”
Hmm. Sounds like the quarterback and his coaches need to have a heart-to-heart.
That Carolina wants Newton to run less and get the ball out quicker isn’t really that shocking. He’s a guy who loves to hold onto the ball in the pocket, looking for that perfect opening for a big strike. Far too often, the waiting game has resulted in Newton getting hit, and hit hard.
Carolina also invested in a couple of very explosive weapons who should be a boon to the offense, and to the idea of getting rid of the ball quicker — rookies Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel.
Still, despite all that, Newton doesn’t think he needs to change his style of play.
“I couldn’t imagine talking to [Tom] Brady or talking to Aaron [Rodgers] or talking to even Matt Ryan or [Drew] Brees and saying, ‘Hey, are you going to stay in the pocket all day like that?'” Newton said. “That’s where you feel comfortable at.
“In my career, over the whole body of work, the things that have put me at an advantage most times is having that ability to run.”
The big issue here that the Panthers are likely looking at is that quarterbacks who run a lot typically don’t last as long as their pocket-passer counterparts. Their bodies take more of a beating, and so an earlier decline is almost inevitable.
So as much as Newton doesn’t want to change his game, he really should listen to his coaches. If he’s going to get the most out of his exceptional talents, he’s got to evolve.