There were some spot-on frozen ropes and a few balls that sailed beyond receivers or tailed behind them. There was a botched handoff in which the ball ended up on the ground and there was the moment of brilliance we saw so much of in college when the quarterback tucked the ball and ran for roughly a 20-yard gain.
We're talking about rookie Cam Newton’s first padded practice as a member of the Carolina Panthers. It was a mixed bag, filled with flashes of potential and the usual rookie mistakes. Nobody’s ready to declare Newton the starter over Jimmy Clausen. In fact, the Panthers added another competitor when free-agent Derek Anderson walked out to the practice field to watch after passing his physical and signing his contract.
“It’s so early that it’s hard to get a true assessment of where we’re at,’’ offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski said. “We’ve only been out here a few days.’’
It’s likely the Panthers will go through virtually all of training camp and their preseason games before settling on a starter. But the early verdict is that Newton is doing pretty much what you’d expect.
Newton should be available very late in your draft and is really only a worthy pick if you have a deep roster or can carry a third QB. With no OTAs, odds are against him being the starter right out of the gate, but he should eventually take over the job at some point this year. Carolina brought back DeAngelo Williams at RB, so this is a team committed to the run for now.