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August 27, 2011

Rivera: Cam Newton working toward being "our guy"

Barring injury, Cam Newton is going to be the starting quarterback Sept. 11 at Arizona.

Ron Rivera hasn't said that, yet.

He doesn't have to: Anyone who has been around this team – be it players, support staff, media, you name it – has seen it coming.

The Panthers picked Newton first overall, knowing he would be a work in progress in terms of becoming a polished passer. So, how's Newton best going to develop – watching Jimmy Clausen for several weeks or getting out in the fray himself?

Heard a national sports-radio host today claim Clausen has out-played Newton this preseason. I'd say that's a stretch.

Clausen's numbers are marginally better than Newton's, but Clausen hasn't done anything spectacular.

Newton has engineered one touchdown drive in three exhibition games, Clausen two – although one of Clausen's was a 15-yard drive following a Matt Moore fumble.

Does Newton have a long ways to go in terms of mechanics and recognition of fronts and coverages? Absolutely.

But his 16-yard touchdown scramble the other night at Cincinnati is a play Clausen will never make.

The Panthers are not a playoff team this year, anyway. So why not take your lumps with Newton in the hopes you're a much improved team in 2012?

Clausen was out today with a knee/thigh injury he sustained against the Bengals. Derek Anderson is not in the running for the starting job.

So why not go ahead and name Newton?

I think it has most to do with team chemistry. On the night they drafted Newton No. 1 overall, Rivera made sure to point out the Heisman Trophy winner would not be handed the job.

I asked Rivera today about the scenarios in which Newton would not be the starter against the Cardinals.

The big thing is to continue to see how he handles everything. We have to really study him and watch him. We have to make sure he's progressing in the right direction,” Rivera said.

This is a very sincere thing for us. We don't want to just say, 'Hey, you're the guy,' and walk away from it. At the same time, we want him to understand that he is working toward being our guy.”

--Joseph Person

 

Posted by Observer Sports on August 27, 2011 at 05:49 PM | Permalink

Comments

Surprised that no one mentioned in any of today's stories whether Balmer, the new DT, practiced today or not?
Cam should start, especially behind this O-Line, he'll need to use that running ability to survive.

Posted by: Kenny | Aug 27, 2011 6:04:45 PM

Surprised that no one mentioned in any of today's stories whether Balmer, the new DT, practiced today or not?
Cam should start, especially behind this O-Line, he'll need to use that running ability to survive.

Posted by: Kenny | Aug 27, 2011 6:04:45 PM

Surprised that no one mentioned in any of today's stories whether Balmer, the new DT, practiced today or not?
Cam should start, especially behind this O-Line, he'll need to use that running ability to survive.

Posted by: Kenny | Aug 27, 2011 6:04:45 PM

Yea, I think Cam should start as well but...the players around him could really make it hard for him to progress with the lack of talent on this roster at the WR position and offensive line as well. (our offensive line is really! really! over rated!) kalil, gross, and Wharton would not be starters! on many NFL teams...but they are some of the highest paid olineman in the NFL! how does that happen you ask? simple you hire a moron! like Marty Hurney as your GM, and REFUSE! to fire him not matter how much his insane! personal moves, trades and draft picks continue to run our organization into the ground.

Posted by: Cheven | Aug 27, 2011 6:15:56 PM

Person - you made mention of where one of Clausen's touchdown drives originated from "a 15 yard drive from a fumble" but you failed to mention where Newton's touchdown drive originated from. Care of clarify? You can slant it anyway you want, but trust me - Newton was not spectacular this preseason either. Besides his one lone touchdown, what has he done?

Posted by: coolbreeze | Aug 27, 2011 6:18:59 PM

I agree, Newton should start so this front office finally realize what bone head pick this was--should have drafted defence with pick. DT or my pick Patrick Peterson and then look for Luck in 2012. There's reason for me to believe that this guy will any more than a Tebow or a J. Russell.

Posted by: Rod | Aug 27, 2011 6:43:21 PM

I agree, Newton should start so this front office finally realize what bone head pick this was--should have drafted defence with pick. DT or my pick Patrick Peterson and then look for Luck in 2012. There's reason for me to believe that this guy will any more than a Tebow or a J. Russell.

Posted by: Rod | Aug 27, 2011 6:43:21 PM

I agree, Newton should start so this front office finally realize what bone head pick this was--should have drafted defence with pick. DT or my pick Patrick Peterson and then look for Luck in 2012. There's reason for me to believe that this guy will any more than a Tebow or a J. Russell.

Posted by: Rod | Aug 27, 2011 6:43:22 PM

I sure love all this talk about having to earn the job for a guaranteed 22 million.

Posted by: paulie | Aug 27, 2011 6:43:44 PM

"kalil, gross, and Wharton would not be starters! on many NFL teams"

lmao thanks goodness you aren't the gm, you probably would have let go of them without getting draft picks. Kalil would start for alot of teams not name the Jets, Browns, Patriots etc. Could start for the Colts( Jeff S is aging), The Ravens( Matt Birk is aging), Saints( Olin K i aging) etc. Gross would start for about 15-20 teams especiall teams such as the Cardinals, Bill, Bears, Redskins etc. As for Wharlton, yep he suck. But I do agree Hurney should have already ben fired.

@Kenny

What's up with the triple post lol?

Posted by: oh wow | Aug 27, 2011 6:49:03 PM

"should have drafted defence with pick. DT or my pick Patrick Peterson"

Have you even heard of Luck until last year? Probably, just like we never heard of Newton. PP is having a hard time cracking the starting line up for the Cardinals after they trade DRC.Heck Richard M and Tole could be the starting cb. DT selected in the top don't pan out very well. If Luck wanted to be a Panther, then he should have declare for the draft. He didn't, get over it.

Posted by: oh wow | Aug 27, 2011 6:52:45 PM

Newton is the least of the worries. The defense so far hasn't shown much of anything yet. I understand it's preseason but we should all know by now that preseason DOES matter for this team. I heard Pat Williams is available. They need to sign him TODAY.

Posted by: Lpdog | Aug 27, 2011 6:53:53 PM

"There's reason for me to believe that this guy will any more than a Tebow or a J. Russell."

What the hell with Luck be? Manning or Brady? Qb's are a hot or miss at best, but for some reason Luck is the savior to you? Heck Luck could pull and Eli M and ask to be traded to different team.

Posted by: JJones | Aug 27, 2011 6:54:47 PM

Cam leave Charlotte now. You will never be loved by this fan base. They want Andrew Luck and you are black black BLACK

Posted by: KhalidX | Aug 27, 2011 6:59:37 PM

Cam leave Charlotte now. You will never be loved by this fan base. They want Andrew Luck and you are black black BLACK

Posted by: KhalidX | Aug 27, 2011 6:59:37 PM

Guys, the idiots that are hating on Newton will hate him always. Some people simply can't be satisfied and actually take pleasure in complaining.
Anyone who knows even a little about football knows that Newton was the only guy worth taking at #1 in the draft, especially considering the new rookie pay scale.
Newton is raw but his talent is genuine, he has what you can't teach, and I believe he's dedicated enough to learn the rest.
Anyone calling him a bust already, is just simply an idiot.

Posted by: Kenny | Aug 27, 2011 7:16:40 PM

Andrew Luck would have been handed the starting job here right away. Despite Luck having never came anywhere close to 1 title game and playing in a weak conference against the mighty PAC 10 football studs, Cam needs to prove himself. Cam ask to be traded NOW

Posted by: KhalidX | Aug 27, 2011 7:22:22 PM

andrew luck is the next david carr!

Posted by: joe cool | Aug 27, 2011 7:27:09 PM

andrew luck is the next david carr!

Posted by: joe cool | Aug 27, 2011 7:27:09 PM

"andrew luck is the next david carr"

Lol playing behind this offensive line, he sure would have a chance to be another David C.

Posted by: JJones | Aug 27, 2011 7:28:35 PM

"kalil, gross, and Wharton would not be starters! on many NFL teams"

Two of those three are Pro Bowlers. Can someone be banned from commenting for sheer stupidity?

Posted by: Authority | Aug 27, 2011 8:07:33 PM

While I am not racist like a lot of posters here. I urge the racist readers here to look at the opposite view of why we MIGHT have Newton! Why not ask yourself why Andrew Luck didnt come out knowing we would draft him?? Its not Cam's fault we have him, its the Owner who drafted him. Why dont all you haters go to Richardson and complain? You dont have to watch the game or be Panther fans! We fans want to talk about how are team is going to do with what we have or who we need to pick up! Thats what we should be discussing or what Cam needs to do to improve. People like " KhalidX " & "JJones" go root for another team please, leave this space for our fans!

Posted by: TheCatman | Aug 27, 2011 8:29:56 PM

Calm down people....We all know the "season"....Is already done......I have known Tom for a long time and if he thinks Scam is the man.....then start him. Time will tell ....The best part is we will get a number one pick next year also......Hope we are "Luck"....eee!

Posted by: Randy | Aug 27, 2011 8:31:55 PM

I kinda want rivera to give the fans what they want and start derek andersen or jimmy clausen and see how they do behind that line. the only chance we have is to have cam cause he can get out the pocket and make plays which will happen about 70 percent of the time.NOT BECAUSE HE WANTS TO BUT BECAUSE HE HAS TO SO HE DOESNT GET SACKED ON EVERY PLAY. i like how people have this attitude that quarterbacks should be perfect even as rookies, its not gonna happen. And damn everybody calls him "scam" last time i checked name calling is something i stopped doing when i matured. i guess we have people that still need to mature on this site and grow up.

Posted by: cali catsfan | Aug 27, 2011 8:45:34 PM

Cam Newton is no bum. He's a smart guy who is very well put together. Race has nothing to do with this unless he turns into a bust, then the racists will be out in full force. He is a leader and has the decision making ability to be a great NFL QB. Back to back champion in D1 and D2, that takes leadership. Yes he is smart and here's proof: 1. He was not dumb enough to play college football and make Auburn millions for free (his pops knew how to be the fall guy and keep Cam out of trouble, very well orchestrated) 2. He knew to come out of college his jr year (yes, that takes brains given our hybrid free market capitalist economy) 3. He says all the right things in interviews, that does take brains to target the specific problems that need improvement in his game.

Posted by: JamesT | Aug 27, 2011 8:49:18 PM

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