Many now feel that NFL rookies and especially rookie Quarterbacks are liable to start their careers off well and wow in their first year.
After that comes the fated “Sophomore Slump” and then you find out what they are really going to be in the ensuing years… Well for Cameron Jerrell Newton or
“Cam” Newton, you could say that he hasn’t exactly gone according to plan.
In fact, he has gone better than planned.
The Auburn alumni and Heisman Trophy winner has got better and better every season in his brief four year career.
A Career Recap
It started with an electric rookie campaign in which Newton threw for 854 yards in his first two starts (a feat which broke an NFL rookie record) and led to a strong 4,051 passing yard season.
His second season wasn’t so much a slump as it was a sophomore nick as defenses around the NFL tried to find ways to stop the young star; Newton ended up throwing for 3,869 yards, 19 touchdowns and only 12 interceptions.
While he was statistically down in all the major categories, Cam actually lowered his INTs and upped his QB rating from 84.5 to 86.2 from the previous year.
The Breakthrough for Cam “Superman” Newton
Before Cam Newton was drafted the Carolina Panthers had not been to the playoffs since 2008 (two years before he was drafted). But 2013 changed all that when “Superman” and a stout defense led the team to not only a playoff berth but their first division title since ’08.
The crazy thing is that Newton was again down in all stat categories but upped his TDs from 19 to 24, his Quarterback rating to 88.8 and his completion percentage to 61.7; the latter of which set a career high for the Panther QB.
Ultimately, the Panthers were knocked out of the postseason by the San Francisco 49ers but it showed that Cam was able and committed to leading his team throughout the entire season.
All Eyes Are On Cam Newton
“Number 1” on Carolina will have even more to prove now as he and his team escalated the expectations of their fans and the rest of the NFL last season. It means that Newton
will have to be “on” early in the season and lead his team to another postseason appearance at the very least.
To be fair, it wouldn’t appear that the organization has exactly given him the tools to do so with his two big receiving options, Steve Smith (now a Baltimore Raven), and Brandon LaFell leaving during Free Agency.
But the team at least made an effort to bring something back to him by drafting Florida State Receiver Kelvin Benjamin as well as signing pass-catchers Jason Avant and Jerricho Cotchery.
It’s a good thing that he still has the talented and often underrated Tight End Greg Olsen because it can only help to have reliability on the field. Unfortunately, Newton is injured with fractured ribs and missed his Week 1 game.
But when Cam does make his 2014 season debut the lights will be trained on him, and everyone will be looking to see if “Superman” can save the day.
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