In an announcement akin to holding a Christmas present that feels like it’s jeans and opening it to find out that, yep, it’s jeans, the Carolina Panthers have made rookie Cam Newton their official Week 1 starter against the Arizona Cardinals. To date, Newton has thrown one (1) 10-yard touchdown pass in handful of preseason appearances, but according to Panthers head coach Ron Rivera, that speaks for itself.
“It speaks for itself,” Rivera said. “With what Cam’s done and the direction we’re headed with this football team, in all honesty he is our starter. He is going to grow as a starter and we’re going to grow as a football team. It’s not just about him. It’s about the rest of us growing in our system.
“We didn’t draft Cam to the be savior. We drafted him to help lead this football team.”
Derek Anderson will be his back-up, with Jimmy Clausen sitting in the locker room somewhere practicing his John 16:33 facepaint, because Carolina totally needed a Tim Tebow that no one wants.
Unless you count the time he sang Justin Bieber in public, nothing about Cam Newton’s preseason was damning. Normal rookie mistakes, like locking onto receivers early, throwing into double-coverage and not being able to accurately hit a three-man target. He’s got a strong arm, he moves well and he looks more confident every time he plays … and if the Panthers really wanted the lowest-possible-rent Michael Vick, why not go ahead and start him?
“I did but I didn’t expect anything given to me. It doesn’t stop here. I can’t sit back and say I’ve arrived because we have a long way to go,” said Newton.
Some people are looking at the situation a little differently.