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Cam Newton's toe injury 'not a bid deal'
Monday, December 16, 2013, 2:16pm
Newton injured his toe at the end of a 7-yard scramble on the Panthers' final offensive play of the first half, and was taken into the locker room before halftime to be examined.
Newton did not undergo X-rays on the toe, and Rivera said it is not being characterized as "turf toe."
Newton was the last Panthers' player to return to the field after halftime. But he didn't miss a snap.
Saturday, October 12, 2013, 9:09am
Carolina’s pass protection has bordered on awful—the Panthers are fifth-worst in our ratings—and dropped passes by receivers have been huge. Steve Smith (two) and Brandon LaFell had drops that would have been big plays or touchdowns against the Cardinals last weekend.
Newton hasn't lived up to draft-day expectations so far. This week, he ranks seventh among our QBs. The potential is always there for Cam thanks to his running ability, but so far he's been at least a little bit of a disappointment.
Cam Newton, offense expected to ramp it up
Sunday, August 18, 2013, 11:19am
Through two preseason games, the Carolina Panthers offense hardly resembles itself from the previous two seasons.
There have been no read options, no quarterback keepers, zero Wildcat formations and barely any play action.
But this isn’t what the Panthers’ offense under Mike Shula is predicted to look like in his first year as offensive coordinator after taking over the position vacated by Rob Chudzinski. Instead, Carolina – like every team in the NFL – is running a vanilla brand of its playbook, using what quarterback Cam Newton calls its “bread and butter” plays and apparently leaving out the jelly.
Newton has had just four play-action snaps in his 45 total plays this season. That's not how the season should play out, but the team does want to keep Newton in the pocket more. That hasn't really affected his draft rank. He sits behind the top-three Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning as pretty much the fourth-best option for QBs in drafts. With an ADP of the fourth round, if you really want Cam you should have a shot at getting him.
Friday, August 16, 2013, 7:10pm
In eight series over the first two exhibitions, Panthers QB Cam Newton has guided just one touchdown drive – on a short field (18 yards) last week following Norman’s interception of Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler. The other seven series have produced four punts, two field goals and an interception.
Newton completed eight of 17 passes for 112 yards Thursday. It was the kind of inconsistent performance Newton has said he wants to eliminate.
“I thought he did some nice things. He got us down there twice in scoring position,” Rivera said. “We did miss a couple throws. But he was running for his life twice, and both times he overthrew the ball. I'm not sure you put that on the quarterback alone.”
New offensive coordinator Mike Shula kept his calls conservative, but it's hard to know how much of that is his philosophy or simply not wanting to reveal too much.
Newton got off to a slow start in 2012, but finished on a tear. We wouldn't worry too much about preseason struggles, though it should be noted that he's playing for a new offensive coordinator this season.
Cam Newton getting time in the pocket
Tuesday, August 13, 2013, 6:40pm
Newton interacted more with teammates – whether it was making one-handed catches before practice or playing cards between meetings.
Seems like all good signs for Newton. The story also added he's been working real well with WR1 Steve Smith. He could easily be the fourth QB taken in just about any draft, behind Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning. He'll still collect the rushing yards and TDs despite the team wanting him to stay in the pocket more.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013, 6:29pm
We rank Smith 20th and as a low-end WR2. If you wait on WR, he's certainly a guy you can probably live with in the 7th round.
Jonathan Stewart out indefinitely
Thursday, July 25, 2013, 1:28pm
The sixth-year running back said the left ankle has healed well while the right one is “still an issue.”
Throw in the fact that the Charlotte Observer listed DeAngelo Williams first on its pre-camp depth chart, and it looks like Williams will be a very nice value at his current ADP (10.07). He's worth a pick in the 8th-10th rounds given the uncertainty surrounding Stewart's health. Don't forget that Mike Tolbert and Cam Newton will be vulturing most of the rushing TDs, so don't reach on Williams.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013, 12:37pm
QB Cam Newton came to the Panthers as strictly a shotgun passer. But he has made significant strides under center. Last year in 375 shotgun attempts, Newton had a passer rating of 82.9 according to STATS LLC. In 110 snaps under center, he had a passer rating of 97.4. His completion percentage also was better under center--.590 to .573. So more snaps under center, particularly using play action, might be a part of OC Mike Shula’s vision for the QB.
“That just shows me what his football mind is about,” Shula said. “He has a great football mind.”
Early in the 2012 season, there was talk of a sophomore slump for Newton, as he had only accounted for eight total touchdowns (five pass, three rush) in his first seven games after averaging 2.2 total TDs per game in 2011. Starting in Week 9, he scored 19 TDs in his final nine games, a 2.1 TD per game average. He should continue to progress as an NFL quarterback in 2013.
Tuesday, June 18, 2013, 9:36am
The Panthers seem to be moving away from the zone read, wanting Newton to make more plays from the pocket, so this could be a telling sign that Olsen will be counted on. TE is a deep fantasy position, and if you don't feel you need to take one of the studs early, Olsen's ADP is surprisingly the 12th round, yet we have him ranked 8th on our TE list. At that point of the draft, you may even be able to nab him as your TE2.
Panthers de-emphasizing zone read
Tuesday, June 18, 2013, 9:25am
The Panthers did not run a lot of zone read during OTAs, and it appears the option package will be de-emphasized under first-year offensive coordinator Mike Shula.
Third-year quarterback Cam Newton looks comfortable running a more user-friendly offense.
This could all mean a bit of a drop in Newton's fantasy rushing production, as it seems the Panthers want him to run a little less. He has 1,447 yards rushing and 22 rushing TDs over his first two years. That also means a possible bump up in value for RBs Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams. We still rank Newton third among our QBs and have him available in the fourth round along with Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.
Friday, May 31, 2013, 11:06am
Mike Shula’s offense is considered to be more traditional than what the Panthers experienced under Rob Chudzinski’s direction the past two seasons as offensive coordinator.
What it will look like on Week One is still up in the air, but one thing is for sure with coach Ron Rivera: They’ll be getting out of the huddle faster in 2013.
By simplifying the verbiage for play calls, Rivera expects the team to break the huddle faster and with less confusion.
“We want to be up-tempo, we want to practice up-tempo and get things going up-tempo,” Rivera said Thursday at organized team activities. “That’s what you see, you see more of that in the last couple weeks in these OTAs.”
Quicker playcalling should mean more plays and more production from Cam Newton and the rest of the Carolina offense, provided the team is as effective on a per-play basis.
Carroll: Russell Wilson is going to "bust out" in 2013
Friday, April 5, 2013, 1:18pm
“I think it’s going to be Russell Wilson,” Carroll said. “I think he’s going to really do well this year. He’s going to bust out and will benefit tremendously from his first year. It may be hard to imagine he’s going to get any better, but I think he’s going to get a lot better, being he was a first year starter, first time in the League.”
Overshadowed by Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck, Wilson had arguably the best season of any rookie QB (ever) not named Cam Newton. He accounted for 30 total TDs (26 pass, four rush) and rushed for the third-most yardage among all QBs in 2012. Wilson averaged 20.2 fantasy points in his final eight games after averaging 11.3 FP in the first half of the season. Even if we remove W15 (where he rushed for three TDs after not rushing for a score all year), he averaged 18.0 FP in the second half of the season. With the addition of WR Percy Harvin, Wilson is looking like a solid starting fantasy QB in 2013. Like the other rookies and first-year starters, there's always the possibility that defenses will be able to scheme against them, and Wilson's average passing yardage (195 per game) won't help his fantasy value weather a regression in touchdowns.
More in-season rest for Steve Smith
Sunday, March 24, 2013, 11:59am
“The thing about Steve I’ll always be impressed with is how hard he does everything. Not just on the football field. Everything he does, he gives 100 percent,” Rivera said. “He really does put his all into it. I think that’s why he’s been able to sustain it for such a long time.
“I think we have to be smart with Steve, make sure we put him in position to take advantage of his abilities and maximize his time and not waste his time or his reps. So he’s getting quality reps and quality plays.”
Smith didn't catch a TD until Week 9, but finished with four TDs in his final nine games (which coincided with QB Cam Newton's improved play). He's turning 34 in May, but as long as he's seeing 8+ targets per game, he should be a solid fantasy contributor. He was the #19 WR in 2012, yet he's been going 32nd in early 2013 drafts.