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July 02, 2011

Newton running Panthers offense in Florida

Had a chance to check out Cam Newton's throwing session Thursday at IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla., with former Panthers QB Chris Weinke.

Because of the lockout, Newton will not have the benefit of minicamps or OTAs (at least with Panthers coaches) before his first training camp. But his sessions with Weinke are the next best thing.

Newton has the Panthers' playbook, about 90 percent of which Weinke has installed.

When Newton gets together with Weinke, the sessions are designed to mimic what Newton would be doing in Charlotte.

Here's how they work it:

Weinke gives Newton the play call, using the precise Panthers' terminology (including line protections).

Newton repeats the play as he would in the huddle, then simulates a huddle break by slapping the ball.

Newton calls out the Panthers' cadence at the line of scrimmage, then drops backs and makes the throw. (On Thursday he had Giants WR Michael Clayton, Browns TE Alex Smith, Detroit rookie WR Titus Young and a couple of small-college receivers catching passes).

Weinke and former NFL quarterback Ken Dorsey, a member of Weinke's IMG coaching staff, watch each throw and offer suggestions on Newton's footwork, keeping his shoulders level, etc.

Dorsey, who played for Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski at the University of Miami and with the Browns, occasionally will discuss specific elements of the design of a play with Newton.

Weinke said he has made only minor tweaks with Newton's mechanics, and has been impressed with the way Newton has approached the sessions in Bradenton.

"He wants to be great," Weinke said.

The Observer will have more on Weinke's work with Newton in Sunday's editions.

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on July 2, 2011 at 12:00 PM | Permalink


This like a Xbox game without any players or defense's scheming against him...We still won't know anything about Newton's capabilty until the preseason starts.

Posted by: QB | Jul 2, 2011 12:28:00 PM

Gotta learn it before you can execute it

Posted by: Stoke85 | Jul 2, 2011 12:43:44 PM

Weinke's words are interesting, "He wants to be great", nothing about how he's looking so far. Every QB drafted, or player for that matter, wants to be great. I took this as Weinke wanted something positive to say about Cam's ability so far, but after realizing there wasn't anything really positive to say, Weinke stated, "He wants to be great".

Also, if I was a member of the Panther organization or Cecil Newton, I'd be extremely concerned with Weinke tweeking with Cam's throwing mechanics, no matter how minor the Tweeks were.

Posted by: Out of town Panther fan | Jul 2, 2011 1:07:21 PM

Out of Town,
Weinke had much more to say about Newton, just about all of it positive. Many of those comments will be in the Sunday story. I just wanted to get a blog up about what they're doing.

Posted by: Joe Person | Jul 2, 2011 1:43:08 PM

Um...you mean the new Panthers' playbook, including line calls, is being executed in front of veteran players from other teams?

I don't think the coaches would approve of that.

Posted by: Authority | Jul 2, 2011 2:10:25 PM

Great job Joe I cant wait to see the full story. Even more I cant wait to see Cam on the field in a Panthers uniform. He is working very hard at improving so I hope it all pays off. His biggest hurdle wont come until he hits the field. When he has to understand the opposing defence. Hopefully Our defence will help him out with this during practice and in the filmroom. He will only get better if he watches film with the defence as well as offense.

Posted by: cboss | Jul 2, 2011 2:37:08 PM

Is this the same Heisman winner Weinke who led the Panthers to that stellar 1-15 NFL record in his rookie season and was released and not picked up by anyone ?

Posted by: dont believe the hype | Jul 2, 2011 2:46:57 PM

Cam Newton WILL be a great Q.B. and the Panthers WILL win a super bowl within the next few years!

Posted by: Lysol Jenkins | Jul 2, 2011 3:10:53 PM

Not the line calls at the line of scrimmage. But the line protections that are called in the huddle.

Also, FWIW, the day I was there the receivers were spread out fairly wide, told the route that they should run and didn't seem to be paying much attention to what Newton was calling.

Posted by: Joe Person | Jul 2, 2011 3:23:55 PM

Can't wait to see the rest. Glad to see he's putting in the necessary work.

Posted by: Lpdog | Jul 2, 2011 3:33:00 PM

Weinke must have the playbook dumbed down to numbers 1-60 on sCam's wrist like at Auburn. I'd love to choke on some crow, but I believe Newton won't be able to grasp the line calls and coverages that dominate the NFL game.

Posted by: Phil | Jul 2, 2011 4:30:15 PM

Some of you fans lol. When will some of you learn that being great at a sport isnt a prerequisite for being great at coaching? I mean how many of you are exciting to have Isiah Thomas or Magic Johnson running your teams as opposed to Jerry Colangelo or Gar Forman?

Same with football and other sports. Yes, Weinke and Dorsey sucked in the pros, but that doesnt mean they cant translate verbage and help young QBs get ready. At least he (Newton) willing to learn and keeping his word. Fair weather fans at its finest lol.

Posted by: REAL fan | Jul 2, 2011 5:08:58 PM

Right REAL fan. Dean Smith rode the bench for the '52 Kansas Jayhawks, played about 30 seconds of the title game and didn't score. Turns out he was fairly successful as a coach, though.

Posted by: Matt | Jul 2, 2011 6:12:48 PM

@ Real fan & Matt You sre right. People also seem to forget that they are helping another young QB in the NFL who is getting a lot of praise. Thats Josh Freeman. He is there right now with his teamates and Weinke is filling in as QB coach. IMG has done a great job with freeman who came from the same type of offense as Cam.

Posted by: cboss | Jul 2, 2011 6:29:16 PM

ya know in all fairness wether ya like or hate the kid no regardless of his his college history nobody has ever seen to date cam newton play an actual down of nfl football when it counts so anyone that wants to say hes gonna be a bust or great or whatever pure speculation until further proven as either one let the man play a seasons worth of football or two before immediately jumping to conclusions and labeling him a bust right off the bat cam newton isnt jimmy clausen just sayin :)

Posted by: KevinWTaylor | Jul 2, 2011 7:45:14 PM

to all you anti auburn/carolina fans out there that just wanna hate on newton just wanna see em fail along with us you wanna label the kid a bust before hes ever played a meaningful down of football hey thats perfectly fine but if you're gonna do that hows about be honest with yourselves and reserve those labels for when hes actually earned them via poor play by all means if he turns out to be a bust then hate away but do it when you have room to do so :)

Posted by: KevinWTaylor | Jul 2, 2011 7:50:06 PM

So far not Russell & Young comparisons. Good. This kid is working his ass off for a season that may not happen. He could easily be doing nothing he has sought help at every level. He went out and found Warren Moon as an adviser prior to the draft. He also turned to George Whitfield for guidance. Now he is working with former NFL QB's at an elite training academy. This kid is doing all of the right things to leave his (college) past behind him and to become a great NFL QB. I can't wait to witness his success and listen to the haters back-pedal like the DB's that can't defend Cam's passes.

Posted by: chaos03 | Jul 2, 2011 10:30:49 PM

Someone else saw the same thing i did. It seem's to me that a player showing the playbook of his team to players of another team should be forbidden and penalties given. Shows that Newton doesnt think very well, another Clausen maybe

Posted by: TeddyN | Jul 3, 2011 5:12:47 AM

There they goes again. So now they use a true champion Heisman & NCAA winner & NCAA runner up with an impeccable record at FSU to fraudulently rehab some scamming illiterate felon drop out cheat con artist dumb crook?

The continued loss of what integrity was left & dumbing down of the NFL at breakneck speed progresses on course as if the current union strike extortionist criminals wasnt enough. Forget the NBA strike. Its all crumbling and falling to the ground like Humpty Dumpty.

They did the same for thuggy Smith trotting him out for rehab with youth teams and charity events using innocent kids even setting him up with a youth camps etc. Laughable.

The biggest scammer in this entire murky situation is the disturbed Disturber idiots with their bully pulpit driving the boat on Scam Newton and of course failure is inevitable.

What kind of example does this set for millions of young kids struggling in adversities? Cheat to win?

In other words to be successful you must be a crook cheater thief liar deciever scandalous etc? Too funny.

Forget values morals honesty decency integrity hard work effort achievement and truthfulness?

You got it all backwards. Cheaters never win. They always get it they always get it in the end... No exceptions.

Scam is a BIGTIME LOSER. Deal with it.

Posted by: rev troy | Jul 3, 2011 7:51:47 AM

Rev ? Yeah right! Stick with church politics Troy !

Posted by: spanky | Jul 3, 2011 8:14:40 AM

geesh. are there any others on the team? They milking this to death. What about the defense? entire offense? speciality teams? ther drafted players? how about some balance?

Posted by: psl holder | Jul 3, 2011 10:54:08 AM

@TeddyN It dosent matter if someone knows the Panthers playbook. The whole NFL will know it after a few games. May even know it now if you go look at tape when Coach Chud was in Clevlend. Its when and how you use the plays that matter not the plays themself.

Posted by: cboss | Jul 3, 2011 11:33:34 AM

Good idea. Buy Jake from Cleveland and let him be starting QB for the cancelled 2011 season. He would be 50 times better than Clausen Pike Newton or Moore.

Posted by: goldberg | Jul 3, 2011 11:39:47 AM

Rev, the good Lord gave us all a brain to evaluate, analyze and reach conclusions on facts.

First never reach conclusions before doing the research and base conclusions on facts.

Concerning Mr. Cam Newton, we have all heard the buzz going around about problems at Florida and his father getting involved prior to Auburn selection.

Here are the facts "as I understand them":

Fact #1-> Cam Newton bought a laptop computer that was stolen and then threw it out a window in a panic when police arrived. Cam Newton did not steal a computer.

Fact #2-> Mr. Cecil Newton, Cam's father, was asked by a supporter at MSU if he would
accept a great deal of money to get Cam to agree to play for MSU. There is nothing as I understand it that indicates Mr. Cecil Newton requested the money prior to the offer. Also the NCAA has indicated that there is no evidence Cam Newton knew about the offer. Also Cam Newton did not play for MSU. With all that said, the next major leap into speculation is that Auburn paid. At this time there are no facts that support that speculation. Read the second sentence at the top of this post again.

Fact #3-> In Mr. Cam Newton's first series of interviews after he was drafted #1 by the Carolina Panthers; Cam was articulate, thoughtful in his answers and sounded prepared for all of the questions. This included a very long interview on WFNZ radio; where he could not have known over that length of time what all of the questions were going to be. Based on those interviews, my immediate reaction was two fold. First, I said to myself, I just wished I had done a better job of raising my son because you could tell that someone has done an outstanding job of raising Cam Newton. Second, I wondered if Cam Newton could really be pulling the most professonal con artist job I've ever seen on the Panthers.

Fact #4-> I did some research on "You Tube" of Cam Newton interviews while he was playing at Auburn. There are two notable ones. One on the Tonight Show right after he won the Heisman Trophy and one on another late night talk show right after he won the National Championship. In both interviews he was articulate, comfortable and sounded just like he did in the Panther interviews. So that tells me he is who he is showing us.

Fact #5-> In the interviews, Cam Newton indicated he understood what the questions were about his ability to transition from a "simple" shot-gun offense to a complex NFL offense. He said he was going to put the work in to prove doubters wrong. Based on what we are hearing is there any doubt he doing what he said he would do?

Fact #6-> Nobody knows if Cam Newton will be as successful as Tom Brady or Peyton Manning or be as bad as you think he will be. All that will be determined by hard work, good fortune and a team that is willing to do what it takes to be a success. Some of those things are out of Cam Newton's control. But I can tell you I'm glad Cam Newton is a Panther.

Posted by: 4Gross | Jul 3, 2011 12:39:05 PM

Bad idea. Jake is done, stick a fork in him. I saw him live in Cleveland last year and he was horrible. He never recovered from Tommy John surgery. Time for the less studious fans in the group to move on from him. You guys probably still think your high school girlfriends are still hot.

Cam is doing more to get ready than any QB rookie I can recall, and without a contract.
He's going to run circles around our current QB's.

Posted by: Sportsdon | Jul 3, 2011 2:40:45 PM

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