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January 25, 2012

Could Russell Wilson back up Cam Newton?


The Panthers obviously are set with their starting quarterback, who is enjoying the fruits of a record-setting rookie season in Hawaii this week.

But what about the backup to Cam Newton?

Derek Anderson, who handled that role last season, is an unrestricted free agent. Though Anderson has said he'd like to return to Carolina, the Panthers appear to be exploring the possibility of adding a No. 2 quarterback who would be more suitable in Rob Chudzinski's offense.

Anderson has proven he can handle the passing portion of the scheme, earning a Pro Bowl berth in 2007 when Chudzinski was the Browns' offensive coordinator. But when Anderson finally saw his first action in the fourth quarter against Tampa Bay in Week 16, the offense looked a lot different with him under center.

Besides the vertical passes, Chudzinski has added an option wrinkle to the attack to take advantage of Newton's skills.

“You have to look at in those terms and say, 'How much does the offense change if he's in or if he's not in?'” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said this week. “It's one of those things that you're going to discuss and talk about as we go forward.”

Wisconsin's Russell Wilson is a dual-threat quarterback, and the former N.C. State quarterback met with the Panthers this week in Mobile. Wilson said he had “good conversations” with the Panthers, and is confident he could quickly learn the system after his adjusting-on-the-fly transition last season at Wisconsin.

“They did a lot of different stuff,” Wilson said of the Panthers. “They've got a lot of talent obviously on the offensive side of the ball. A lot of explosive players, including Cam. They're exciting.”

Wilson is projected as a fifth- to sixth-round pick by most analysts.

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on January 25, 2012 at 02:42 PM | Permalink


I like Russell Wilson, but he has the ability to be a full time starter in the league. The job here is locked up for a while. Russell needs to go somewhere he can potentially start in the near future.

Posted by: Chuck | Jan 25, 2012 2:53:22 PM

Then what about Jimmy?

Posted by: lpdog32 | Jan 25, 2012 2:54:06 PM

"Then what about Jimmy?".....Arizona Rattlers, Gerogia Force, New Orleans VooDoo just to name a few.

Posted by: Jellybean | Jan 25, 2012 2:59:22 PM

Russell Wilson does have the ability to eventually be a starter in the N.F.L. I would draft him just in case Cam goes down. Better safe than sorry.

Posted by: C.Bax | Jan 25, 2012 2:59:34 PM

What in the world about his contract he signed in Colorodo? That was the big stink about the entire NC State situation. You don't play two sports at once...

Posted by: Trey | Jan 25, 2012 3:00:28 PM

Armanti 5'11 and supposedly he's too small to be QB in NFL. Russell 5'11 and he's a future starter in the NFL? I don't get it. I like Russell, but if you're going to go that route I'd say stick AE there since it's going to be tough for him to crack receiving corp lineup. Save the draft pick for a different, more pressing need.

Posted by: GOCATS | Jan 25, 2012 3:01:42 PM

GOCATS - Jan 25 3:01pm. I agree how can a guy that's 5'11" back up a QB that's 6'5" and tough as nails. Get a real backup to Cam Newton. Let's not be the Indy-Colts.

Posted by: SouthernboyJJ | Jan 25, 2012 3:05:42 PM

Trey, you must be young. Many have played pro baseball and pro football. Bo Jackson or Deon Sanders ring a bell?

Posted by: FreedomFry? | Jan 25, 2012 3:18:33 PM

Russell is a far more talented QB than Armanti Edwards ever was. I think Edwards is a more explosive player, but Wilson is a MUCH better QB, which is what counts in the NFL. He's undersized for the position, but has a strong arm, good accuracy and can extend plays with his legs. He also played behind the Wisconsin O-line, which, by size, was bigger than that of Green Bay.

I think if he falls below the sixth round, the Panthers should take him.

Posted by: Curry | Jan 25, 2012 3:20:22 PM

@SouthernboyJJ, yeah, many, as in 2. Lol.

Posted by: Season Ticket Holder | Jan 25, 2012 3:24:07 PM


Russell has already announce he isn't going back to baseball.

Posted by: Rob | Jan 25, 2012 3:26:57 PM

panthers have wasted many picks on QB in last few yrs.........don't do it. it's stupid.

cut armanti while you're at it too

Posted by: Fletch! | Jan 25, 2012 3:38:36 PM

Jimmy? Who's Jimmy?

Posted by: Wow | Jan 25, 2012 3:41:45 PM

If it's a 7th rounder, go ahead. Need a 3rd QB Anyway.

Posted by: PSL OWNER | Jan 25, 2012 3:42:08 PM

Still galls me that O'Brien ran Russell off. Damn bozo.

Posted by: George Hanson | Jan 25, 2012 3:42:12 PM

If he's there in round #5, take him. Give him a shot. Can't be worse than Claussin. I'm really not sure how effective he can be, but Brees isn't exactly a tall guy either, and he has done well.

Posted by: DaveT | Jan 25, 2012 3:44:12 PM

I am life time NC State fan and I believe Wilson is a much better QB than Edwards (AE should be the #3 IMO) but not sure he is right to back up Newton...??? I think the size difference is a bigger issue than most people believe it is and even though he's great at evading tacklers, I don't see him staying healthy if he takes big hits like Newton has taken already. Also keep in mind that a big factor in Newtons success is that he can easily survey the field because of his height. Just a thought...

Posted by: William | Jan 25, 2012 3:44:43 PM

With the holes we have at DT, LB, CB and OT... if Hurney picks up a backup QB anywhere before the 6th or 7th round... he should be run out of town!!!

Posted by: PantherCane | Jan 25, 2012 3:57:13 PM

Hell yes I'd like to see Russell Wilson here! The kid was money at NCSU and at Wisconsin. As an NCSU alrm I was sorry to see thing sour between he and O'Brien, but I never stopped pulling for him to succeed.

Posted by: TP | Jan 25, 2012 3:59:32 PM

I agree with other posts. This would be a foolish waste of a draft pick. And yes what has happened to Clausen ? Did you forget Tony Pike?? Anderson is still young and obviously talented; he's in the house why go after what is an unproven and potential crybaby and flake?

Posted by: Jack K | Jan 25, 2012 4:03:45 PM

TP you post like an NCSU Alm(I think you mean Alum..)

Posted by: Hue Jorgan | Jan 25, 2012 4:22:22 PM

Could Russell Wilson backup Cam Newton?

NO, he is too small.

Would the Panthers draft Russell Wilson?

No, he will not be drafted, and thus be a free agent after the draft/

Could Russell Wilson end up in the Panthers training camp this year?

ABSOLUTELY! There is always a need for practice players during OTA's and camp.

Posted by: Bill Polian | Jan 25, 2012 4:24:37 PM

Agreed with the last posts. Let's make sure we have the right pieces together for defense before drafting an explosive kid who will, more than likely, ride the bench for at least 3-4 years. His talent could possibly be used at another organization. Keep Anderson or look to FA for a QB. He may go undrafted...never know! Stranger things have happened.

Posted by: Kev03_ | Jan 25, 2012 4:28:23 PM

No QB around 5'-11" or 6' can ever be very successful in the NFL!

Sincerely, Drew Breeze

Posted by: crewcutz | Jan 25, 2012 4:30:21 PM

I would draft him in the 6th round if he is on the board and move AE to CB. I think AE could end up a great DB if he would try it out. Jimmy will stay as the #3. Anderson can still start for a lot of teams in the league so don't be shocked if he gets another shot next year.

Posted by: Dirt | Jan 25, 2012 4:37:21 PM

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