Carolina Panthers and Can Newton
Last night the Panthers got slapped around a good bit by the Miami Dolphins. I only watched the first half and our offense didn't do anything and our defense couldn't stop Reggie Bush. It wasn't that big of a deal, a team coming off a couple of really bad seasons with a rookie quarterback and a new coach with several starters on the bench playing in the heat of Miami in the middle of August has a chance of falling on it's face.
I did see two things I liked. First was Thomas Davis. He looked good and really stepped up in that goal line stand where Miami scored on a 4th down run. In a regular season game that would have been a field goal try.
Second, Cam Newton looks really good with the ball in his hand. His fake handoffs on play action look great and on actual handoffs he does a good job after the handoff in faking that he still has the ball. Each time he does that I can see the opposing defense pause and verify who has the ball before attacking. A quarterback who is willing to do put an effort into misguidance with the ball gives a play an extra step on the defense and in the NFL that makes a lot of difference. One big advantage Newton has over Clausen, besides a rocket launcher for an arm, is that he is a threat to run the ball and when he pretends to hid the ball on his thigh last night on handoffs I could see the Miami defensive ends unable to crash on the running back because they had to be sure it wasn't in Cam's hands. Advantage us. One of my big criticisms of Jake Delhomme was how lazy he was on play action. He wasn't fooling anybody.
I want to see the best performer on the field at quarterback when the season starts but it sure is hard not to get excited when you think about Cam Newton behind center