Cam Newton Needs To Tackle Adversity Head On
The Carolina Panthers have been in rebuilding mode for the past two seasons. The pressure for the Panthers to make the playoffs this year is pretty high. This past off-season, the Panthers also hired new General Manager Dave Gettleman, who spent last season with the New York Giants as a Senior Pro Personnel Analyst. The rebuild started with drafting quarterback Cam Newton out of Auburn as the 1st overall pick in 2011. Newton has shown glimpses of what he can bring to this Panthers team now and in the long-term. He has a strong-arm, great mobility and he is a big and strong quarterback that you can build around. Like other young quarterbacks that have entered the league, Newton has also gone through his share of growing pains in the past two seasons. He has had trouble at times keeping his emotions in check and his play on the field has been somewhat shaky at times. He’s too good of a player to let things get to him consistently. Newton also knows that being a 1st overall pick comes with adversity. He will have to overcome that adversity to be a great quarterback.
Cam Newton has a great opportunity to take that next step this upcoming season. That step is to lead the Carolina Panthers back to the playoffs for the first time since 2008. Newton now has solid weapons around him to achieve that goal in 2013 . The offensive line is pretty strong as well with tackle Jordan Gross leading the way. The Panthers have a good running game that was under-utilized in 2012. Both DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart weren’t featured enough in the offense. If they both can get their touches on a consistent basis, that will be a big boost for the Panthers this season. Fullback Mike Tolbert is also solid out of the backfield with his punishing running style especially in short yardage situations. Steve Smith, who is the Carolina Panthers all time leading wide receiver, is still a top receiver in the game today. Greg Olsen is still a productive tight end when healthy. Olsen also gives Newton a security blanket across the middle to take some pressure off of him.
The offensive play-makers around Cam Newton aren’t the best in the world by any means. The weapons around Newton are solid and if they can come together as a unit, Newton can have a great 2013 season. He also needs to become the franchise player and leader that the Panthers haven’t had for years now. A key step to becoming that leader is having consistent command in the huddle regardless of the situation that comes his way. Another key for him to be that leader is to not let adversity take him over. He needs to tackle it head on and just play his style of game. Being the guy and the face of any franchise is always a tough job for any player no matter what position that they play. Newton now knows that he’s going to be held to a higher standard than most if not all of his teammates . That’s something that Newton needs to accept and embrace so it can make him a much better player on and off the field.
Cam Newton had a good 2012 season. He passed for 3,869 yards and had 19 passing touchdowns with 12 interceptions. Those numbers along with his 86.2 quarterback rating last season are solid but he can do better. Newton has what it takes to win in the NFL from a talent standpoint. He is poised to have a breakout 2013 season entering his 3rd NFL season. His familiarity now with Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera’s system should give him the boost that he needs. Newton has to play not just solid but he has to play like a superstar every week. If he can do that, he will definitely be the reason for their success. The question for Cam Newton entering the 2013 season is this – will he overcome the adversity and be the guy in Carolina or will the adversity be too much for him to handle?