Football returned over the weekend and Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton was ready! A lot of stuff happened during the first weekend of the NFL season, but I have to talk about the debut of the #1 overall pick of the 2011 NFL Draft.
Cameron “Cam” Newton kicked off his NFL career by setting a record. The surprising part is that the record is for passing yards and not rushing yards. Cam is the first rookie to throw 422 yards in his first NFL game. All three of the Panthers’ touchdowns in their season opener came from Cam. He threw two touchdown passes and ran one yard to get in the end zone for a touchdown.
Cam’s performance was impressive for any rookie, but it is more remarkable because he was drafted during the NFL lockout. He didn’t have OTAs (organized team activities), mini camps, team training, or meetings with coaches. He did not have the annual orientation or the rookie symposium. His preparation for the NFL was limited to training camp. You would not have guessed any of this from the way that he played yesterday.
Critics talked about Cam needing a year to prepare and develop into a NFL style quarterback. Well from what he displayed in his first game, Cam is ready now. Athletically, he silenced the people who said that he could not throw the ball. He showed maturity and poise and did not rush out of the pocket.
Cam’s performance was not enough for the Panthers to get a win over the Arizona Cardinals, so they have some work to do. (The final score was 21 – 28, Arizona.) This is just the beginning for Cam. As he builds on this solid debut, teams better watch out.
Heels & Helmets