Newton Says He’s Ready to Let Others on the Panthers Be Playmakers

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton began throwing again Monday after recovering from shoulder surgery. Despite years of trying to rein himself in, Newton has too often listened to the voice suggesting he has to make every play, Bill Voth of reports.

“There has never been a time when I’ve been on a team – I don’t care if I’m playing softball – where I haven’t been looked upon to be that guy,” Newton said a couple of hours after he was cleared to start throwing again. “And it’s hard when it’s 14-10, we need a touchdown, it’s third-and-2, you’re looking at coach, you get the play call, and it’s like, ‘Come on!’

“It’s no different than LeBron, Kobe, Jordan or even Brady. My biggest gift in a certain respect is a curse, too.”

“The thing I have to realize is my job is not necessarily to always be the playmaker,” Newton said. “I have to give other people opportunities to make plays. That’s the hardest thing about maturation, especially for me.

“So having more comfort in trusting the guys around me is the biggest thing. Trust and knowing my job is giving everybody a chance and letting them do their job as well.”

Cam Newton Says the Only Thing Left for Him is to Win a Super Bowl

After leading his team to the Super Bowl in 2015, Cam Newton struggled during the 2016 season. Newton is refocusing on trying to get back to the big game and win a title, the Charlotte Observer reports.

“I’m looking at my life right now and I’m saying, ‘I’m missing one thing: I want a Super Bowl,’” Newton said Saturday at his annual 7-on-7 passing tournament. “Yeah, but it’s really certain things that you have to really fine-tune and say, ‘Am I deserving to be a Super Bowl-winning quarterback? How can I push myself to be a better me?’”

Newton told the 400 players there was no contingency plan in his life – it was football or bust.

“The only way I put myself in this situation to be successful was I didn’t have no plan B …” Newton said. “I told myself, at the end of the day, I’m gonna be a football player and a football player only.

“And a lot of guys get it misconstrued because you’re setting yourself up for failure; that’s what some people think. But in myself I was thinking, ‘I ain’t got no other alternative. Either I’m gonna dominate this man in front of me or not.’”

Panthers Bring Aboard NFL Coaching Vet Ron Turner as Consultant to the Coaching Staff

The Panthers have added Ron Turner, a veteran of 12 NFL coaching seasons, as a consultant to the coaching staff, Max Henson of reports.

Turner, most recently the head coach at Florida International from 2013-16, last worked in the NFL as the quarterbacks coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2012.

“He’ll work closely with the offense as far as evaluating the things that we’re doing, evaluating our opponents,” head coach Ron Rivera said. “And then he’ll also do some stuff for (defensive coordinator) Steve Wilks, looking at what we’re doing and explaining how people might try to attack our defense.

“He’s got a wealth of knowledge as a guy who coached at the NFL and college level for a number of years.”

This is a reunion of sorts for Rivera, Wilks and Turner, who all worked together on the 2006 Chicago Bears team that went to Super Bowl XLI.

“They’re great guys; smart, good coaches, but most importantly good people,” said Turner, who was then the offensive coordinator for the Bears

Sports Illustrated Gives Some Love to the Panthers for Their 2017 Draft Picks

While it could take years for the Panthers and the rest of the NFL to be able to give a grade to the teams’ draft class this year, it’s never early to start throwing out how teams did last week in the annual picking of players.

Chris Burke of SI has thrown out his grades – and he has the following to say about how he felt the Panthers did last week.

The offense received a huge boost, both in terms of athletic upside and O-line help. The defense took maybe a tiny step forward. Does that combo work out well enough for the Panthers to get back to Super Bowl contention? RB Christian McCaffrey was worth the No. 8 pick, because he can thrive in the power-run scheme but also burn defenses as a receiver. His addition made that of RB/WR Curtis Samuel (No. 40) unexpected. Samuel is a video-game weapon, but was this at at all repetitive after taking McCaffrey? Will the Panthers regret not going defense there? Taylor Moton (No. 64) should be the starting right tackle—he’s that solid already. DE Daeshon Hall (No. 77) and CB Corn Elder (No. 152) can contribute on defense, but neither is an elite-impact guy. GRADE B+

A Rundown of All the Carolina Panthers 2017 NFL Draft Picks

Sports Illustrated has a complete rundown of all of the Panthers 2017 Draft Picks and some commentary as well.

Round 1, Pick 8 (No. 8 overall)

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford: Remember all that talk about how McCaffrey didn’t have a “natural position fit” in the NFL and how teams would have to tweak their offenses to fit him? Forget it. It was ridiculous all along. McCaffrey ran between the tackles with great effectiveness in college, and he has the pass-catching chops to smoke defenses from the slot. He brings a completely different element to the Panthers’ offense, one that QB Cam Newton should benefit greatly from having. McCaffrey is a better fit for this scheme than Fournette, who was rumored to be in the Panthers’ sights as well. Carolina’s secondary and lines still need addressing at some point, but McCaffrey is as clean a prospect as there is in this draft.? GRADE: A-

Round 2, Pick 8 (No. 40)

Curtis Samuel, RB/WR, Ohio State: Hoo boy, that Carolina offense is going to be fun to watch. Both Samuel and first-round pick Christian McCaffrey are uber-athletic running backs with potential out of the slot. It’s fair to wonder, though, if this was overkill. If McCaffrey’s getting touches all over the field, how is Samuel getting involved? The Panthers still have needs at CB, DE and OT.? GRADE: C+

Round 2, Pick 32 (No. 64)

Taylor Moton, G, Western Michigan: And there’s the other Day 2 offensive tackle capable of stepping in as a rookie starter. The Panthers overpaid for Matt Kalil to play LT, so this is probably a safety net on the right side for Michael Oher, whose concussion issues have put his future in jeopardy. Moton is a mauler—a plug-and-play option for the Panthers’ revamped offense.? GRADE: A

Round 3, Pick 13 (No. 77)

Daeshon Hall, DE, Texas A&M: Anzalone is an ultra-athletic linebacker who just could not stay healthy at Florida. If he does, he easily could be the best playmaker in the Saints’ linebacking corps—and that’s as of 2017, not beyond. It’s a risk, but also addresses a need for New Orleans as it tries hard to fix its defense.? GRADE: B+

Round 5, Pick 8 (No. 152) Corn Elder, LB, Miami

Round 6, Pick 8 (No. 192) Alex Armah, FB, West Georgia

Round 7, Pick 15 (No. 233) Harrison Butker, K, Georgia Tech

Panthers Snag Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey with 8th Pick in 2017 NFL Draft

Thursday the Panthers picked their running back of the future, snapping up Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey with the 8th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Along with his ability to run the ball, the 5-foot-10, 202-pound McCaffrey has the ability to play slot receiver and return kicks. He set an NCAA record with 3,864 all-purpose yards in 2015, rushing for 2,019 yards along with 645 yards receiving and 1,070 on kickoff returns.

While some questions remain over McCaffrey’s ability to be an every down back in the NFL, he won’t have to fill that role in Carolina – at least not immediately.

He’s expected to split time with nine-year veteran Jonathan Stewart, who signed a two-year contract extension earlier this offseason.

Carolina’s offense took a step back last season after reaching the Super Bowl in 2015.

After combining for 45 touchdowns in 2015, Newton spent most of last season under duress, throwing 19 TD passes and 14 interceptions while completing a career-low 52.9 percent of his passes.

McCaffrey figures to help bolster that completion percentage by serving as an outlet for Newton on short slant routes and dump downs because of his abilities as a receiver. The Panthers were also last in the NFL in yards after the catch, an area the big play McCaffrey excelled at with Stanford.

This past season McCaffrey averaged 211.5 yards per game and led the Pac-12 with 1,639 yards rushing despite being hampered by an ankle injury. He averaged more than 30 touches per game over the past two seasons.

With the #8 pick of the Draft The Panthers Select…

IS the Writing on the Wall?

Mock drafts… Do they really know?

Not really. But I still like to know the opinions and guesses going around the analysts boards. I’ve read them, I’ve listened to them, I’m up to speed.

The Panthers have some of the best scouts in the league, in my opinion, who always seems to throw curve balls and throw everyone around the league into a shocked frenzy (including myself).

I can still remember the baffled look at the 2012 Draft when the Panthers selected Luke August Kuechly with the 9th overall pick. (Did you know his middle name?)

Heads were spinning and the praise began to grow, nevertheless, it was a surprise to the announcers, imo.

It seemed as if there was a moment of silence, the announcers were caught off guard, before they began to speak highly of young Luke’s abilities.

Fastforward from 2012…to 2013, doubled up with DT’s (Star &  Short), 2014 (K.B)

In 2015‘s NFL Draft–Pick 25

Remember who announced the pick? You got it. Thomas Davis. The pick? Defense. LB Shaq Thompson.

TD also announced CB Daryl Worley in the Third-round.

Who’s announcing the 1st round, #8th pick in this year’s draft? You guessed it. TD.

Do I have a point? If history has anything to do with it, maybe. Not convinced? Yeah, me neither but…

In 2016‘s NFL Draft Rd. 2 Pk 62… Who made the announcement? None other than CB Chris Gamble.

Who did the Panthers select? CB James Bradberry.

IS the Writing on the Wall?

You decide.

In poker its best to not show your hand. I think teams in the NFL would love to know who the other teams are drafting. They can have the same, if not more, sources a their disposal as the rest of us (that’s what they get paid for as scouts and insiders in the league).

So what do you do, imo? You do the bait and switch. You are allowed to have 30 visits, where you can get to know those players who you think may fit well for your team (you wont draft all 30 players). This can be used as a disguise to “protect your hand.”

Interviews/ Pre-Draft Press Conference— how much can you read into them and what does the GM want the rest of the league to read into them?

GM Dave Gettleman, has been around long enough, 30 years? He’s got a mean poker face, but remember, he loves hogmollies.

Do I think he’ll use #8 on a RB, not really. I was for a RB last year in my prediction that it was a good time to grab one. My reasoning has changed since then, and the Panthers, as you know, did not select a RB. (Btw, they did bring in and workout RB Derrick Henry) Read the rest of this entry »

A Look at the 2017 Panthers Schedule with a Glance at the Good and the Bad

The 2017 NFL Schedule is out, and here’s a look at the Panthers slate for the upcoming season, with the home games in bold:

Sep. 10 at San Francisco 49ers 4:25 PM

Sep. 17 Buffalo Bills 1:00 PM

Sep. 24 New Orleans Saints 1:00 PM

Oct. 1 at New England Patriots 1:00 PM

Oct. 8 at Detroit Lions 1:00 PM

Oct. 12 Philadelphia Eagles (Thu) 8:25 PM

Oct. 22 at Chicago Bears 1:00 PM

Oct. 29 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 PM

Nov. 5 Atlanta Falcons 1:00 PM

Nov. 13 Miami Dolphins (Mon) 8:30 PM

Nov. 19 BYE

Nov. 26 at New York Jets 1:00 PM

Dec. 3 at New Orleans Saints 1:00 PM

Dec. 10 Minnesota Vikings 1:00 PM

Dec. 17 Green Bay Packers 1:00 PM

Dec. 24 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 PM

Dec. 31 at Atlanta Falcons 1:00 PM

What’s Good about this Schedule: A three-game home stretch December 10th, 17th and 24th in three games that could decide if this team is postseason bound or playing for a high playoff spot in 2018.

What’s Bad about this Schedule: The month of October will be tough with three of their four games being on the road, with the killer being back to back against the Bears and Bucs.

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