Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera says the ankle surgery that sidelined Cam Newton for most of the offseason has made him a better quarterback.
"In an interesting way, this might have been the best thing to happen to him in terms of his pure quarterbacking development," Rivera said following Thursday's practice. "He's had to stay in the pocket. He's had to have good footwork. He's had to step into his throws."
Newton has finished in the top 4 in each of his three NFL seasons, but his PPG has dropped from 22.9 to 20.6 to 18.7 in that same span. He was unable to do much at OTAs due to his surgically repaired ankle, but threw with his new receiving corps before training camp. He should still be a solid QB1 given his ability to run the ball.