Cam Newton was the driving force behind the Carolina Panthers’ 15-1 season back in 2015. But thanks to Von Miller and the rest of the Denver Broncos defense, Panthers fans had to face a harsh reality. As much as they love Newton, the man can’t do it all. He needs help. He needs to trust his skill position players, and let them earn their paychecks doing what they do.
Last season was his first in the NFL with fewer than 100 rushing attempts (90; had 132 in 2015). However, with the number of monster hits he took last season, fans are hoping to see him run a little less. After all, the man just started throwing again after offseason shoulder surgery.
It sounds like the plan is for Newton to do just that.
Rivera confirms Panthers want to get ball out of Cam's hands earlier in passing game and run him less. Both of those a clear focus. https://t.co/tig4rGPjXA
— Ross Tucker (@RossTuckerNFL) July 10, 2017
#Panthers HC Ron Rivera: We need to make sure we protect our QB and put play makers around him. McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel help do that
— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) July 10, 2017
It was clear that the Panthers needed an upgrade at the skill positions after last season. With Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel, Newton has two very dangerous weapons that should make a big difference. Rather than take a few hits for a short gain, he can dump the ball off to them when the rush begins to close in.
Maybe then it will become a little more apparent when he is a runner and when he isn’t.
Maybe, just maybe, a few more late hit calls will go his way, too.