Can Cam Newton Step Up To The Plate This Season ?

Can Cam Newton Step Up To The Plate This Season ?

Week 3 of the NFL preseason and one doubts that there’s anymore that can be learned from the teams within the league . Certainly from a statistical standpoint as impressive as some teams appear to be there’s a great deal to be said for the fact that your starters will get their accustomed workouts but it will be the rookies who will look to acclimatize themselves with the rigors of the NFL.


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Slide show for your perusal.

And perhaps nowhere will the spotlight be than upon more , than , the Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton as he looks justify the faith shown in him by the Panthers’ front office , and the team’s coaching staff led by Ron Rivera . And though Newton has showed his guile and athleticism there has been nothing yet to suggest that he may well be the answer to the team’s needs at the position . The player and his presumed backup Jimmy Claussen now have one more game to prove to the fans and staff in particular that they are ready to embark upon the regular season in with the right frame of mind and the ability sought , in order for the Carolina Panthers to be successful.


CINCINNATI, OH – AUGUST 25: Cam Newton (1) and Jordan Gross (69) of the Carolina Panthers celebrate after Newton’s 16-yard touchdown run during an NFL preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on August 25, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Bengals won 24-13. Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images …….

After a rather lackluster and disappointing 2010 season where the Carolina Panthers finished with a 2-14 record much to the disdain of their fans , it was felt the organization would embark upon a major personnel upheaval on both front within the playing and coaching staff. Jon Fox was seemingly allowed to depart along with several members of the coaching staff and this offseason the purge began amongst the playing personnel along with the players acquired through the NFL Draft .

As with any number one player taken in the draft a great deal is placed upon the shoulders of that athlete . They’re often seen as the presumed savior and future face of a franchise and for Cam Newton it will undoubtedly be no different. If the player can have half the success during his final year at Auburn then one could deem it a success for Cam Newton and his new teammates . Now it would be true to surmise that for any rookie quarterback starting in the NFL success isn’t expected to immediate but for the Panthers who have so much riding on the player , that anything short of an 8 win season would as such be deemed a failure for the organization . Granted , as with any team said to be going through this type of transition there will always be growing pains and a great deal of uncertainty not only about the team as a whole but also upon the expectations of the coaching staff , as well. Ron Rivera , it has to be said a rookie coach in the NFL will have his work cut out for him but with his credentials and insight into the game , one would expect the coach to fare well this upcoming season.

Unfortunately , for the Carolina Panthers they find themselves in a tough NFC South division where three of last year’s most promising teams within the conference reside . The Atlanta Falcons , New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers cannot be overlooked as teams that are not capable of holding their own and being competitive in what can be best described as one of the better divisions within the NFL.

It might be at this juncture however that one now begins to question whether or not this team might be capable of usurping the dominance of their neighbors within the NFC South. I do believe that with that even with the changes on the roster , the team will be in for an arduous season ! The six games played within the division will be tough enough without considering the typical conference schedule overall for the Carolina Panthers. And ccertainly the team’s celebrated wide receiver Steve Smith will be looking to regain the form that made one of the more prolific players at the position .

It would be remiss to think that an offense led by Newton and Smith alone will be enough or for the Carolina Panthers to garner any semblance of success if this team is to show any semblance of progress beyond the mediocrity shown last season , then the team will have put forth a collective effort that is of their very best . There’s no denying that last season injuries had beset the 2010 team and as with any organization the coaching staff underestimated those losses to the roster as a whole . And it’s clear as a result of that the franchise ation believes it best to have players complemental and befitting a team that seeks the game’s ultimate prize _______ the Superbowl .

Noted veterans on this Carolina Panthers’ roster such as Steve Smith , Jeremy Shockey , Chris Gamble , DeAngelo Williams , Jordan Gross , Chris Massey and Jason Baker will have to step up if this team is to have any semblance of success over the course of this season.

By way of production shown in the preseason by the team’s young rookies the fans can expect something of note . Cam Newton , much like the players drafted alongside him by the Carolina Panthers have something to prove Albeit , that the quarterback’s own baptism of fire has been somewhat unspectacular . His rookie classmates Terrell McClain , Sione Fua , Brandon Hogan , Kealoha Pilares , Lawrence Wilson , Zachary Williams and Lee Ziemba are hoping that they too can offer something to this beleaguered franchise. If nothing else , it certainly will be interesting to see what transpires for this team as to their overall play.

For this season’s rookies in their first within the NFL this could very well prove to be an interesting year. Undoubtedly, even for the the players taken in the supplemental draft they too have something to prove . Terrelle Pryor in spite of his off field problems will have to justify the faith shown in him by the Oakland Raiders’ front office . I’d dare say that this is one gamble Al Davis might truly believe in, given his past forays with regard to over-hyped talent that simply didn’t measure up to much . With Pryor at this juncture who knows what he may well be able to offer the team ? Their travails of last season were well documented.


Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor, left, listens to instruction from head coach Hue Jackson, right, during their NFL football training camp in Napa, Calif., Friday, Aug. 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg …..

Certainly with the moves made by the organization and through the draft it has to be said the Oakland Raiders are positioning themselves to have a successful run within the AFC West and conference as a whole this season . The team certainly has the offensive capabilities to be amongst the best within the NFL and certainly within the AFC . If the team is able to reproduce that sort of form over the course the season then the Raiders’ fans could very well be for not only a wild ride but perhaps a shot of making the postseason .

Hue Jackson and his coaching staff must be hoping to get the very best out of this team . There’s enough veteran experience on the roster to suggest that Jason Campbell and his contemporaries are capable of providing enough leadership for the rookies on this team . But if there’s said to be a problem for the Raiders it has the consistent lapses by the defense in particular that of the pass defense that has let them down repeatedly over the course of last season . These are the things that John Marshall as the defensive coordinator will be lookin g to tweak over the preseason while Al Saunders will be looking to fine tune the skill-set of the team’s quarterbacks and that of the offense .



Picture gallery for your perusal .

What traits do you believe Cam Newton has that may well convince you that he is capable of being a success in the NFL ? Or do you believe that he will essentially be a work in progress over the next couple of years ? And are you of the opinion that the Oakland Raiders can be a legitimate contender within the AFC West and conference this upcoming season ? Simply leave a comment on the points raised within this piece and as usual thanks for the continued support as it is greatly appreciated !

Alan aka tophatal ……

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Picture and slide show details .

(1) New York Jets’ David Harris intercepts a pass by New York Giants’ Eli Manning during the second quarter of an NFL preseason football game, Monday, Aug. 29, 2011, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Jets won 17-3 . AP Photo/Julio Cortez …..

(2) Brandon Jacobs (27) of the New York Giants greets Plaxico Burress (17) of the New York Jets after their pre season game on August 29, 2011 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images ……..

(3) CINCINNATI, OH – AUGUST 25: Gibril Wilson (27) of the Cincinnati Bengals makes a tackle against DeAngelo Williams (34) of the Carolina Panthers during an NFL preseason game at Paul Brown Stadium on August 25, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Bengals won 24-13 . Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images ……

(4) Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera looks on during an NFL preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on August 25, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Bengals won 24-13. Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images ………

(5) Jimmy Clausen (2) of the Carolina Panthers runs away from pressure while trying to pass during an NFL preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on August 25, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Bengals won 24-13 . Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images ……

(6) CINCINNATI, OH – AUGUST 25: Cam Newton (1) and Jordan Gross (69) of the Carolina Panthers celebrate after Newton’s 16-yard touchdown run during an NFL preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on August 25, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Bengals won 24-13. Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images …….

(7) Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) meet after the Bengals defeated the Panthers 24-13 in an NFL football game, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011 in Cincinnati. AP Photo/Tony Tribble ……

(8) Oakland Raiders head coach Hue Jackson walks off the field after the Raiders lost to the New Orleans Saints 40-20 in a preseason NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011. AP Photo/Paul Sakuma ) …….

(9) OAKLAND, CA – AUGUST 28: Taiwan Jones (36) of the Oakland Raiders runs twenty two yards for a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints in the third quarter during an NFL pre-season football game at the Coliseum August 28, 2011 in Oakland, California. Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images ….

(10) Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor (6) warms up before a preseason NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011, in Oakland, Calif. AP Photo/Paul Sakuma ……

(11) Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor, left, listens to instruction from head coach Hue Jackson, right, during their NFL football training camp in Napa, Calif., Friday, Aug. 26, 2011. AP Photo/Eric Risberg …..

(12) Jason Campbell (8) of the Oakland Raiders drops back to pass against the New Orleans Saints in the first quarter during an NFL pre-season football game at the Coliseum August 28, 2011 in Oakland, California. Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images ………

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Author: tophatal ...........

An avid sports' fans that's all !!!!!

16 thoughts on “Can Cam Newton Step Up To The Plate This Season ?”

  1. Carolina is in the enviable position of having a new coach, two young quarterbacks and low expectations.

    They play in one of the best divisions in football and I don’t think anyone expects much out of them this season.

    But the whole Claussen-Newton race should be interesting for the next couple of years.


  2. I can’t imagine Carolina and Cam Newton being successful this year. They aren’t a very good team, new coach and Cam Newton is going to take a while to get used to a pro-style offence on top of significantly improving his accuracy. He’s got the intangibles and all the tools to be a great quarterback but I think it’s going to take him a little bit to put it all together.


    1. Chris Ross

      This organization has slipped so far down the food chain that I can’t blame Fox for their malaise ! Moreover it has to do with the myopic view of Jerry Richardson , the team owner and Marty Hurney as the general manager . Over the last few years in terms of the draft they’ve had more misses than hits .

      If they can have a half decent season then that ought to persuade the fans that they’re heading in the right direction .

      As to the Raiders if that defense can’t even remain consistent over the course of the season then they’re done ! That’s the team’s Achilles’ Heel .

      tophatal …………..


  3. The expectations are indeed very low for Carolina, however, the future appears to be bright for Newton. I actually think he’ll be a decent NFL QB for a few years (like Daunte Culpepper). Of course, Newton definitely will take his lumps during his rookie season though. A 7-9 record would be a positive for Cam and the Panthers…


    1. Drew

      I can’t see them posting a 7-9 record not with how tough the NFC South now is !

      Newton first of all has to show some maturity rather than think that everyone is about to kiss ass much like Gruden had done in those ESPN interviews ! Someone ought to remind this isn’t Auburn !

      As for the Raiders they’ll simply fly by the seat of their pants this season .

      Actress & model Melyssa Ford .

      I just hope that both Newton and Pryor can get with the program !

      tophatal ………..


  4. I hate the situation that Cam is in. He has the frame of an NFL quarterback but his skills are too raw to be effective right away. It doesn’t help that he is put in a situation with no veteran starter to help him progress so he is forced to be the starter and franchise player right away. New coach, new scheme, not alot of playmakers…..alot can go wrong. I guess that’s what happens when your number 1.


    1. jgome

      I think that’s the situation any potential number one pick knows that they’ll be in ? They’ll either prove themselves or they won’t but I feel the pressure is upon them to succeed right out of the gate ! Rarely does that happen in the NFL as the expected progression is that we’ll get to see the best out of that player perhaps after two or three years . In the case of Sam Bradford he’s set the bar high for his sophomore season .

      Mark Sanchez as well has been a revelation for the Jets achieving far more than his immediate predecessors (Cassel , Palmer and Leinart ) at the position who came out of USC .

      Matt Stafford to me still hasn’t justified his worth given the fact that he just can’t stay healthy and his game has been so inconsistent . In the case of Alex Smith it’s time to cut him loose !

      It’ll be interesting to see how the likes of Newton and Pryor fare over the course of this season merely because of the off the field controversies that surrounded their collegiate careers and what they apparently achieved by way of their respective successes .


      tophatal ……….. 😛


    1. al clements

      If Newton can have a moderately successful season and by that I mean the team winning at least 6 to 8 games this year then it could be deemed a moderate success for the organization , the faith shown in the player by the front office and Ron Rivera .

      As things now stand the franchise is teetering on the brink of obscurity and they really need something to ignite the ball-club . So why not Newton ?

      As for the Raiders it’s another make or break year for the club as a whole whether or not it’s Pryor helming the team at the qb position .

      This season from my own perspective is going to be literally filled with hits and misses as far as the teams are concerned . The lockout has done more harm than good for a lot of the franchises and players in particular .

      Cassandra Calogera

      If things don’t work out right for either Newton or Pryor then they can always try their luck at hittin’ this with their balls .

      tophatal ……….


  5. I’m not sure why, but I think Cam might actually do decent. I’m not saying the Panthers will be .500 or anything, but better than last year.

    I didn’t dislike or like the Pryor pickup. I guess it’s annoying that everyone says he’s going to be a failure, but if you score a 7 on the wonderlic maybe those haters have a point!


    1. chappy

      I think Newton will acquit himself well but as far as the team goes overall …. I think the jury is still out ! Their offseason acquisitions and draft choices would suggest that Hurney and Rivera are on the same page . But at the end of the day it comes down to what they end up doing on the field of play. And herein lies the caveat to it all , the NFC South is one bitch of division when you consider the teams the Panthers will have go up against , never-mind the rest of their regular season schedule .

      As far as the Raiders are concerned they’ve nothing to lose at all in acquiring Pryor . It’s now all down to the player to prove that the choice was justified . If given the chance to prove himself at any point in the pre or regular season he could well raise a few eyebrows or he might simply flame out because of the pressure . Who’s to say what will actually happen ? I look at this way he can’t be any worse than JaMarcus Russell .

      tophatal ………..


      1. Yeah, the Panthers do have a tough division.

        I agree with you on Pryor. We usually mess up draft picks anyways, so what’s the big risk!?! I think it will only help him playing as a third or fourth string QB this year and next. It’s better than throwing him in and hoping for the best when he’s not truly prepared!


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