Just like 247 Sports has been doing for about the past 2 or 3 months, we will begin the 2019 Carolina Panthers Player Review. I will give a overview of the player's season last year and what lies ahead for them next season. This will include offense, defense, and special teams players, as well as head coach Ron Rivera, general manager Marty Hurney, offensive coordinator Norv Turner, defensive coordinator Eric Washington, and owner David Tepper.
Today, we will focus on 10th year starting quarterback Cam Newton.
Expectations were riding high for Newton & Co. after a 6-2 start to the season. They were even being considered Superbowl contenders. So, it was like a slap in the face when they were pummeled by the Pittsburgh Steelers, 52-21. This would be one of many lowlights of the Panthers season, as Cam's shoulder wouldn't hold up for the rest of the season, and they would have a 1-7 finish in the last 8 games.
It was as many had feared; Cam Newton's shoulder injury had returned. There had come a time during the season where he couldn't throw for over 20 yards. After a shoulder surgery in January 2019, the doctors removed pieces of tissue that had been left previously. The surgery was successful, and Cam thought so too. “It’s good. It’s better than I thought it would be," Newton said. "There was so much going on throughout the season. I was in fear, in fear to see what actually was wrong."
Once Cam had his surgery, he set his sights on the road to recovery. One of his 1st changes to becoming a better player was his switch to a vegan diet. In his Youtube video, Newton described his feelings about it. "I’m excited about this whole process,” Newton said. “I’m feeling strong. I’m feeling more and more about myself, and I’m real eager to start getting
cleared and adding new exercises to my rehabilitation program.” And it seems he isn't the only one on his team exploring different food options, as new teammate Gerald McCoy has been experimenting with it to relieve his aching joints."I had a lot of inflammation in my joints to the point where it was hard for me to walk," said McCoy. "I struggled getting up the steps, and I just had so much pain. And it got to the point where I was like 'I don't know how much longer I can play. I've got to make some type of switch." And that's exactly what he did.
Another one of the changes Cam's made this off-season is his new throwing motion. "Making him a little more compact in his upper body. A little more closed off, just so he’s not as open throwing the ball. And just to make him as efficient as possible and putting the least amount of stress possible," Turner said. "Now, you are going to put stress on your arm throwing the football – it’s not a natural movement. But as little as we can on his shoulder, just to take care of him." Quarterbacks coach Scott Turner thinks this new motion can work wonders for Cam and his career moving forward.
However, some NFL analysts are convinced that he will return to his old style when under pressure, former quarterback David Carr being one of them. "The difficult part is gonna be when it really starts happening. When you start getting in 11-on-11 and you've got bodies flying, you're gonna revert back. I've had my throwing motion tweaked. I know a lot of guys that have played that have had coaches, for injuries or whatnot, have to tweak their throwing motion. And you always go back, because at this point, he's thrown millions of footballs a certain way. And to do this for a couple weeks in OTAs and think that it's gonna be different, it's not gonna be different when it really starts happening."
Fans are hoping we see the 6-2 Cam as we open the season because he is such an important player for our team. Nate Burleson seconds that, as he said one day on Good Morning Football, "Cam Newton is the most pivotal player in the NFL." And rightly so, because when Cam does good, the whole team unites as one. But when things go awry for him, the team struggles as a whole.
Cam has a great opportunity to lead his team to the playoffs this year (assuming his shoulder will be fine), thanks to Ron Rivera & Marty Hurney for continuing to build around him. He has CMC, a revamped offensive line including newly signed Matt Paradis, Greg Little, & Daryl Williams, as well as rising stars DJ Moore,Curtis Samuel, and Ian Thomas. Combined with our new defensive scheme, he has a solid chance to win Comeback Player of the Year.
We (Panther fans) should have high hopes for the quarterback position for the next few years, as we have many young talented players in line for the backup position. This series will continue with backup quarterback Kyle Allen.
Inabinett, Mark. “Carolina Quarterback Cam Newton Adopts Vegan Diet.” Al, 16 Mar. 2019, www.al.com/sports/2019/03/carolina-quarterback-cam-newton-adopts-vegan-diet.html.
Rodrigue, Jourdan. “Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera Shares Encouraging Details about Cam Newton's Shoulder.” Charlotteobserver, Charlotte Observer, 31 Jan. 2019, 12:31, www.charlotteobserver.com/sports/nfl/carolina-panthers/article225337585.html.
Taranto, Steven. “Gerald McCoy Reveals He Considered Retirement Due to Joint Pain.” Carolina Panthers, 247sports, 24 June 2019, 247sports.com/nfl/carolina-panthers/Article/Gerald-McCoy-vegan-considered-retirement-joint-pain-133148414/.
Taranto, Steven. “David Carr Questions If Cam Newton Will Stick to New Mechanics.” Carolina Panthers, 247sports, 20 June 2019, 247sports.com/nfl/carolina-panthers/Article/Cam-Newton-new-throwing-motion-David-Carr-questions-133036794/.
Henson, Max. “Quarterbacks Coach Scott Turner Explains the Thinking behind Cam Newton's Throwing Motion.” Panthers Home, 12 June 2019, www.panthers.com/news/quarterbacks-coach-scott-turner-explains-the-thinking-behind-cam-newton-s-throwi.