Cam Newton’s issues with taking unnecessary late hits during games this season has become a major point of contention over the past week. The Carolina Panthers’ quarterback requested a meeting with NFL Commissioenr Roger Goodell to discuss the MVP’s uneasiness over these late hits.
The meeting was granted and apparently went pretty well (via ESPN).
Despite this, it’s all about the NFL changing how it calls the penalty and Newton himself changing the way he plays. He’s as much to blame for the excess of hits he’s taking as the league is for seemingly not protecting him.
Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks just recently said as much in what appeared to be the Super Bowl winning signal caller throwing some shade his counterpart’s way (more on that here).
This all pretty much came to the forefront after Newton was treated like the Denver Broncos’ personal punching bag in a Week 1 Panthers loss to the defending champs. This eventually led to Newton missing a game with a concussion.
Now, looking back at the first eight weeks of the season, NFL Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino has admitted to some missed roughing calls on Newton throughout the Panthers’ first seven games.
“We review every play from every game and we’ve looked at all of Carolina’s snaps, and we missed two roughing the passer calls on Cam this year, and that’s not where we want to be,” Blandino said, via Pro Football Talk. “It’s not specific to Cam, it’s all the quarterbacks because the same rules apply to everyone. Based on our numbers, there have been more missed calls on other quarterbacks, and obviously we’ve had missed calls on other quarterbacks as well. And our goal is to have none.”
We’re not exactly sure what the league it looking at here. Is Blandino talking about that aforementioned first game rather than the entire season? After all, there seemed to be multiple missed calls on that one alone.
We’d also like to know the name of the other quarterback(s) that have seen more missed roughing calls go against them this season. While pure conjecture on our part, that seems a bit absurd.
While Newton’s meeting with the commissioner apparently went well, two things are going to have to change here for the MVP to remain upright and healthy throughout the remainder of the season.
He’s going to have to play smart football and avoid the unnecessary hits. In turn, the NFL must keep a closer eye on Newton, especially if he’s being targeted and singled out by opposing defenses.