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.