Cam Newton has set impressive goals for himself and the Carolina Panthers.
Never afraid to speak his mind about his own abilities, Newton has now set the bar of expectations all the way to the top for himself and his offensive teammates.
Speaking with ESPN.com, Newton stated a lofty goal:
“Our main goal now is to become the No. 1 offense in the league,” Newton said. “And I’m not just blowing smoke when I said that.”
Can’t fault him for shooting for the moon.
However, the Panthers have a long, long way to go if they are going to achieve Newton’s goal.
Carolina hasn’t featured an offensive juggernaut lately. In fact, mediocre would be a better word to describe the team’s offensive output, finishing with the No. 16-ranked offense in 2014, the No. 26-ranked offense in 2013 and the No. 12-ranked offense in 2012.
In Newton’s favor as it pertains to the future is the influx of new talent on offense, specifically at the receiver position. Kelvin Benjamin put together a strong rookie campaign, catching 73 passes for 1,008 yards and nine touchdowns. If he continues to ascend, then he and rookie Devin Funchess should provide Newton with a dynamic one-two punch on the outside for years to come.
Perhaps the biggest obstacle to Newton reaching his stated goal is the team’s shoddy offensive line, which allowed 81 sacks on Newton the past two seasons. Things don’t necessarily look peachy on this front heading into the 2015 season, either, with Michael Oher and Mike Remmers as the two starters.
Also of concern is the team’s inability in the past to sustain any sort of balance offensively. The Panthers haven’t been able to establish a true identity, sometimes running the ball, sometimes passing it but never finding the balance to thrive, grow and throw defenses for a loop.
Offensive coordinator Mike Shula has his work cut out for him to create the environment for success. The Panthers now appear to have the playmaking talent to become a complete and electric offense.
“We have endless potential, but that hasn’t done anything for anybody in this league,” Newton said.
The part that is yet to be determined is whether they can put it all together and play as a cohesive unit. If they can achieve this, then perhaps Newton’s goal isn’t so far out of reach after all.
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