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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Cam Newton: Offseason Playbook to Now is Like Dr. Seuss to Shakespeare

The Carolina Panthers want Cam Newton to be their starting quarterback as soon as possible.  No NFL head coach would ever hand a rookie a starting position, but it’s no secret Ron Rivera hopes Newton earns it this season.  A shortened offseason makes things infinitely more challenging.  At the moment, Newton is running plays with the second offense behind Jimmy Clausen.  Much of that has to do with a lack of familiarity with an NFL-level playbook.

According to CBSSports.com via SB Nation, the Panthers gave Newton a playbook to study during the lockout.  The top overall draft pick said the book they gave him was nothing compared to what is being thrown at him in training camp.

“That’s Dr. Suess compared to doggone Shakespeare,” Newton said when asked about the playbook he studied during the lockout.

A few months ago we pondered which Newton would take from Clausen first — his jersey number or his job.  At the moment, he has earned neither.  We all know what Newton is capable of physically, but this is a kid who struggled to call an audible during Jon Gruden’s camp over the spring.  Transitioning from a college playbook to an NFL playbook is a tall task for anyone, let alone a quarterback who dominated in a basic spread offense at the college level.  Newton has the potential to light up the field and create a buzz for the Panthers, but he’ll have to tackle a massive learning curve before being given an opportunity.

Chest bump to Black Sports Online for the story.



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