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September 17, 2013

Steve Smith: Cam Newton is pressing

Veteran wide receiver Steve Smith attributed Cam Newton's early-season woes to the same thing that ails many young players in the NFL: He's pressing.

On his weekly radio appearance on WFNZ's The Drive on Monday, Smith responded to critiques of Newton by saying the third-year quarterback is forcing too much too soon.

"What the current issue is, you have a young player pressing," Smith said. "And what do I mean by pressing? You know when a young player, a receiver, if he doesn’t get a lot of passes, all of sudden instead of going down he fights for that extra yard, fumble. That’s what you’re seeing with Cam a little bit, I feel like, in the past game is, well, [imitates stammering] and now you got that pressing.

"And that pressing isn’t because, oh, it’s when you’re not moving the ball down the field. Young players do it. And he has to understand that. And that’s just part of being young. It’s not just a quarterback issue, it’s tight end, wide receiver, running back. It’s when you press and you have that competitiveness in you. You’re like, ‘Man, I can change things if I just throw it here, if I just do that.’ And that’s the only bad part about a young player is when they press. That’s what’s going on is that pressing."

In the 24-23 loss to the Bills on Sunday, Newton went 21-of-38 for 229 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. But among those 17 incompletions were numerous overthrows to receivers--a problem that was equal parts mechanics, timing and dealing with a consistently collapsing pocket (Newton was sacked six times).

While the Panthers' offense was able to move the ball down the field, the team (0-2) struggled to find the end zone from inside the Buffalo 20-yard line. Twice in the fourth quarter the Panthers had the ball inside the Bills' 9 and twice they settled for field goals.

If the pressing quote sounds familiar, Panthers coach Ron Rivera said the same of Newton 11 months ago after the Panthers lost to Seattle 16-12 and Newton had a career-low in passing stats.

Rivera agreed the Panthers' offense was too conservative in Week 1 against the Seahawks, and on Sunday, the Panthers took more shots downfield but only one completion (a 40-yard TD pass to Ted Ginn Jr.) went more than 20 yards in the air.

--Jonathan Jones

Posted by Observer Sports on September 17, 2013 at 09:49 AM | Permalink

Comments

They were too conservative vs Seattle and then they over did it vs Buffalo. If we get one td and one gf off those two turnovers then we aren't talking about all of this bs.

Posted by: Elliot | Sep 17, 2013 10:11:32 AM

Agree with you Elliot. I had a feeling we would be throwing plenty down field. The problem with the pocket collapsing was Cam didn't have the time he needed to throw accurately. I was actually hoping he would throw short passes for a while, establish the run, then blow it by the defense.

Posted by: irishfan | Sep 17, 2013 10:28:23 AM

Cam is simply not even close to being a pocket passer type of QB. He doesn't have the clock in his head to know when to check down or throw the ball away, nor can he execute a back-shoulder pass. Take off the reigns and let the boy scramble to create time, and find an open receiver or pick up a couple of yards. Cam will not perform in the current capacity....period.

Posted by: dangburnit | Sep 17, 2013 10:30:07 AM

Why is Rivera still sucking up air on the sidelines?

We need a fresh shakeup and outlook. Hes lost so many close ones that if we open the second half with another lead, hes going to try to milk the clock for 2 quarters.

Posted by: ElectricBlue | Sep 17, 2013 10:31:31 AM

Steve Smith no longer scares defenses. He is old, slow and so overrated. Yet this town loves him. Wow!

Posted by: Anthony Bright | Sep 17, 2013 10:36:08 AM

^^ You sir are an idiot

Posted by: Stanley | Sep 17, 2013 10:48:26 AM

^^^AGREE. REGGIE WAYNE IS OLDER THEN SMITH. CASE CLOSED. JERRY RICE PLAYED WELL INTO HIS 30'S. THEY WILL ALL TELL YOU. WHEN YOU GET OLDER AND LOSE THAT SPEED YOU HAD AT 20 THATS WHEN YOU SEE THE BEST BECAUSE THE EXPERIENCE SHOWS UP. PRECISE ROUTE RUNNING ABILITY TO STILL GET THE BALL(WHEN ITS CATCHABLE) ABILITY TO GET THAT EXTRA YARD WHEN NEEDED.

Posted by: PANTHERSFAN4LIFE | Sep 17, 2013 11:08:10 AM

2-13 in games decided by a touchdown or less. He needs to press.

Posted by: AK | Sep 17, 2013 11:09:03 AM

Anthony Bright.

Lets assume for a moment that your right (I would disagree with you completely). What would you have the panthers do? Who can replace him? Lafell? Edwards? Dixon? Exactly. The best reciever we have.

Posted by: Steven | Sep 17, 2013 11:09:46 AM

they weren't too conservative against the seahawks. the strategy worked against seattle. the execution didn't. we lost that game because of 2 turnovers, and some drops. the field position game kept seattle from scoring. we moved the ball pretty well. if olsen catches the 2 big balls he dropped......we aren't talking about it, we're talking about how big that win was.


rivera has a MAJOR problem of over correcting perceived problems that aren't really the problem.


everybody cries about "4 winning seasons in 18 years"............

all 4 years we had conservative play calling.

Posted by: charlottean | Sep 17, 2013 11:12:09 AM

Excuses, excuses, excuses. That's all the pro Cam bunch have. It's always the other guy's fault. Cam was horrible Sunday. He had plenty of plays when he was not pressured, and he still stunk. He couldn't throw a ball in the ocean. I agree with the above poster. He will never be a pocket passer with any reliability. He is best coming off the bench as a wildcat option. He is not now nor will he ever be a winning starting QB in the NFL. Until the ownership/management gets a clue, we will not improve no matter how many coaches or GM's we fire. The problem is the QB.

Posted by: ShoNuff | Sep 17, 2013 11:26:34 AM

no cam is definitely NFL starter caliber talent. he just needs to refine his decision making.

his big flaw is holding the ball too long. he's done it all his life because he's always been tough to bring down so he could get away with it. it's a problem when you play against a mario williams who has no problem bringing him down.

he has to let the ball go sooner. sacks kill drives. throwing the ball away doesn't. he'll learn that. he would learn it sooner with a smarter head coach teaching him. ron rivera is no al pacino in any given sunday. he's more like lawrence taylor in any given sunday.

Posted by: charlottean | Sep 17, 2013 11:36:43 AM

Hey coach, put me in! I promise I've laid off the Bojangles and I can hit the broad side of the barn. Smitty knows what I'm talking about.

Posted by: Jake Delhomme | Sep 17, 2013 11:54:26 AM

Steve Smith continues to run his mouth, without saying anything. I'm sick of him and his thug antics. He preens, spins the ball, talks smack on every meaningless catch he has. It is all about him, him, him, never the team. Just wait until his first catch versus the Giants. He will act like he scored the winning touchdown at the super bowl, despite being a has-been on an 0-2 team. Great leadership, little man!

Posted by: John D | Sep 17, 2013 11:56:27 AM

^^^ he has evey right to say that. It's Steve smith

Posted by: Allen | Sep 17, 2013 12:07:21 PM

WE NEED TO FIRE RON RIVERA... HE'S ONE OF THOSE COACHES WHO ARE JUST GOOD AT BEING A COORDINATOR COACH. HE NEEDS TO STICK TOO JUST BEING A DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR COACH . HE DOESN'T KNOW WHAT HE'S DOING ON OFFENSE CLOSE GAMES AND EITHER WAY HE JUST MILKS THE TIME AWAY WHEN WE ARE UP BY LIKE 7 OR 3 POINTS! AND THAT LEAD IS NEVER DAFE THESE DAYS. WE NEED A NEW HEAD COACH WHO LIKES TO DOO THE POWER RUN AND LET CAM DO WHAT HE DOES BEST RUN. ALSO WE NEED TOO BUILD AROUND CAM NEWTON SO HE CAN BE A BETTER PASSING THREAT. BUT RON RIVERA HAS A DEFENSIVE STATE OF MIND AN JUST WANTS TOO BUILD AROUND HIS DEFENSE

Posted by: Allen | Sep 17, 2013 12:13:51 PM

@ JOHN D.
HUH????

THUG ANTICS? THE MAN HASNT DONE ANYTHING "THUGGISH" IN A LONG TIME. SPINNING THE BALL (GETS THE TEAM AND CROWD HYPE) SORRY IF YOU HAVENT PLAYED ANY SPORT EXCEPT MAYBE GOLF WHERE YOU HAVE TO BE QUIET. BUT I DIGRESS. IT'S LIKE YOU GUYS WILL TELL HIM TO JUST SHUT UP AND PLAY. AND IF HE DID THAT. GUESS WHAT YALL WILL HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THAT. AND THEN IF HE DOESNT SAY ANYTHING TO THE MEDIA. HE WOULD BE FINED. HE DIDNT SAY ANYTHING ABOVE THAT NO ONE WHO WATCHES ISNT SEEING. IF IT WAS GREG OLSEN OR JORDAN GROSS WOULD YOU BE SINGING THE SAME THUGGISH TUNE. NO. ITS ONLY BECAUSE ITS STEVE SMITH.

Posted by: PANTHERSFAN4LIFE | Sep 17, 2013 12:24:49 PM

If we had 21 other guys like Steve, we would be 2-0 and wouldn't be pressing.

Posted by: Gettleman | Sep 17, 2013 12:35:23 PM

The PROBLEM IS NOT CAM Newton. The PROBLEM is the TEAM has no offensive DIRECTION or weapons.

THE Quarterback cannot win the game by himself. What you expect him to throw and CATCH the ball too.

The Bills won the game because of BAD COACHING.

Posted by: Countryboy JJ | Sep 17, 2013 12:36:47 PM

The PROBLEM IS NOT CAM Newton. The PROBLEM is the TEAM has no offensive DIRECTION or weapons.

THE Quarterback cannot win the game by himself. What you expect him to throw and CATCH the ball too.

The Bills won the game because of BAD COACHING.

Posted by: Countryboy JJ | Sep 17, 2013 12:36:47 PM

The PROBLEM IS NOT CAM Newton. The PROBLEM is the TEAM has no offensive DIRECTION or weapons.

THE Quarterback cannot win the game by himself. What you expect him to throw and CATCH the ball too.

The Bills won the game because of BAD COACHING.

Posted by: Countryboy JJ | Sep 17, 2013 12:36:47 PM

Those of you complaining about the celebrating tactics are idiots! You are the same people that would have something negative to say if the Panthers had no emotion behind their plays. So you basically want them to score a touchdown and walk over to the bench and sit there quietly? Where is the fun and hype in that? It is all about geting the crowd hyped and in the game! It gives them personality!

Posted by: PANTHERSfanALWAYS | Sep 17, 2013 12:41:19 PM

Newton can't be a pocket passer without a.......pocket.

Posted by: CatsFan | Sep 17, 2013 12:46:00 PM

I guess the people who don't want Cam would rather go back to the Jake Delhomme days of throwing for 5 INT's and 65 yards.

Posted by: Smitty | Sep 17, 2013 12:47:14 PM

"Steve Smith no longer scares defenses. He is old, slow and so overrated. Yet this town loves him. Wow!"

Are we supposed to stop liking him because he is 34?

Posted by: Mike | Sep 17, 2013 12:50:18 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.

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