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December 07, 2011

Cam Newton: Defenses focusing on Steve Smith

Steve Smith began this season with a bang, with five 100-yard receiving games in the Panthers' first half of the season.

Opposing defensive backs took notice, and started rolling extra coverage toward Smith.

Rookie quarterback Cam Newton is still looking Smith's way, but he's just not been as open as he was earlier in the year.

Newton targeted Smith six times in last week's 38-19 win at Tampa Bay. Smith caught two of the passes for 32 yards – his least productive game since he had two catches for 15 yards in a torrential rain against Jacksonville.

He's a tremendous receiver and caught a lot of people off-guard as far as his value to this team. But last week was probably the week that he got the most attention that I've ever seen anybody (get),” Newton said of the Bucs' coverage.

They were rolling to him. They were pressing him, also. Having a guy under him and over the top of him, so it was physically impossible for me to make an accurate throw without putting the ball in jeopardy.”

Smith is still tied for second in the NFL with 1,092 receiving yards. But Newton said part of his maturation process has been spreading the ball around to different receivers when Smith is covered.

You just see the safeties pre-snap and I think that's something that came with time, playing game after game, practice after practice,” Newton said.

The games begin to slow down, so to speak, and you see the safeties sliding over to Steve's side and all the attention that he's getting. We try to do a good job of moving Steve around a lot. But they're going to find 89, regardless.”

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on December 7, 2011 at 03:16 PM | Permalink

Comments

This is what led to Jake Delhomme's downfall. He tried forcing the ball into heavy double coverage on Smith. He's a great receiver but when it isn't there, it just isn't there.

Posted by: troy | Dec 7, 2011 3:59:08 PM

So Newton now resorts to lying since everyone knows he is not passing because he is does not want to break the NFL interception record that he was on a fast pace to do at 14 picks 3 games ago do he makes the safe TE dumps or runs in a jam. Smith better take note who Newton is looking out for and its not him.

Posted by: jim panther | Dec 7, 2011 4:09:46 PM

That was part of Jake's downfall, but the biggest problem with Jake was him losing his toughness, his willingness to take a hit in order to make the right throw. He panicked when a defender got hear him and just threw the ball willy nilly, often toward Smitty.

Posted by: Ben | Dec 7, 2011 4:09:59 PM

Try throwing to other receivers
than smith. Please don't screw up CAM

Posted by: arthur | Dec 7, 2011 4:11:10 PM

yea...lying. cam haters will never go away. all these idiots are just mad that he is doing everything right and saying everything right and making their "smart" assumptions so wrong. i bet cam enjoys that more than anything. oh i get it now, cam haters are actually cam fans because they kno he feeds off of it and it will only make him want more/better. people forget HE IS A ROOKIE! 22 YEARS OLD! WAKE UP or he will smack the living out of u. idiots.

Posted by: moman | Dec 7, 2011 4:46:14 PM

Cam sure is not looking out for Smith. He is looking out for the team. Smith is a grown man that don't need someone looking out for him. Cam needs to keep doing what is the best for the Panthers and not to make sure Smith breaks a record.

Posted by: Real Panther | Dec 7, 2011 4:47:35 PM

Hey Jim Panther Philip Rivers leads the league with INT at 17. Not sure what you mean by set the record?

Posted by: Spartycus | Dec 7, 2011 4:52:25 PM

Ok so no one saw the deep ball he attempted last week that was almost delivered were it not for him getting hit on the release. It's silly to start pointing figures when in reality he is preaching ball security - which is a good thing! Why force it into double or triple coverage when you've got Olsen/Shockey/Lafell etc wide open?

Posted by: Fool | Dec 7, 2011 4:55:23 PM

Jim Panther - You are a racist fool.

Cam Newton - You are the man!!

Posted by: johnboy | Dec 7, 2011 4:55:34 PM

Newton is a sorry BUM. Smith knows it.

Posted by: panthergirl | Dec 7, 2011 4:56:16 PM

Posted by: johnboy | Dec 7, 2011 4:55:34 PM

you are a country hillbilly faggot

Posted by: j'amell | Dec 7, 2011 5:05:01 PM

Panthersgirl is a sorry BUM. Newton knows it.

Posted by: JCpanthersfan | Dec 7, 2011 5:06:36 PM

Newton Sucks!

Posted by: tony | Dec 7, 2011 5:07:13 PM

Everyone needs to calm down. No need for Cam to throw to him when he is doubled. He is making the right decisions. Carolina needs to overload one side and leave smitty alone on the other. Someone will have to be open.

Posted by: Thomas | Dec 7, 2011 5:11:25 PM

Each to his own but everyone knew Cam was gay at Auburn.

Posted by: war eaglette | Dec 7, 2011 5:19:24 PM

Obviously war eaglette and panthersgirl are the same person (I don't know if she is an actual she though. Hail, the power of anonymity with the internet).

Besides, he is doing very well for a Rookie. From the Auburn students I know that just graduated from Auburn, Cam wasn't gay. He was, however, very confident but also very goofy.

Posted by: the truth | Dec 7, 2011 5:41:50 PM

hate to break it to you jim panther, but i've got a sneaking feeling cam isn't going to get to 42 interceptions in the next 4 games.

Posted by: the doctor | Dec 7, 2011 5:59:45 PM

jim panther, you are a TRUE IDIOT!

Posted by: Sure | Dec 7, 2011 6:20:42 PM

Seriously, is there nothing that can be done to get rid of these effing trolls?

Posted by: hihosilvermusic | Dec 7, 2011 6:22:05 PM

I can't believe the people posting Cam wouldn't throw the ball. He pipelined it in between defenders several times during the game. He tried to hit Smitty long, but his arm was hit on the release and it could have been intercepted. Cam played well, no interceptions. When we turnover, we lose. When we don't, we win and Cam has proved that. Usually when someone starts calling out other people as gay, that means that person has his own need there. Grow some

Posted by: Cheetah | Dec 7, 2011 6:33:00 PM

I HATE SO SEE RACIAL HATRED STILL OUT THERE
THIS IS 2011 .I GUESS HATE IS IMMORTAL
LOVE IS BOTH POWERFUL AND IMMORTAL

Posted by: malcolm felix | Dec 7, 2011 6:47:36 PM

JIM PANTHER , TROY NO NEED FOR OFFENSIVE COMMENTS
I BELEIVE HE WILL BE WITH BEARS FOR 100,000,000 AND YOU CAN HAVE CUTLER AND 3 FIRST ROUND PICKS .I BLEIVE YOU WILL BE HAPPY THEN. RACISM IS THE SON OF INSECURITY IF HE WAS NOT SO GOOD YOU WOULD NOT HATE HIM SO MUCH

Posted by: malcolm felix | Dec 7, 2011 6:52:11 PM

True, MOMAN, true........

Posted by: nasty704 | Dec 7, 2011 7:00:42 PM

If the Panthers had a big name/talent 2nd receiver that would command as much attention as Smith, we wouldn't be in this same predicament. A thought here is to keep gunning to Lafell and see if he's up to that big play potential, or in the off season, get another big name receiver with great hands to alleviate the pressure off of smith....good things to come in the next year or 2

Posted by: buckn4fun | Dec 7, 2011 7:41:11 PM

Sadly, Jim Panther is the "smart one" in his trailer. he's the one who knows how to use the pooter.

Posted by: qdog112 | Dec 7, 2011 8:17:21 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.

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