Throughout his first couple of seasons in the league, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton struggled to get himself going. Today, however, he's completely different. He's transformed himself into one of the best in his position having been to the Super Bowl and won the NFL MVP award.
Panthers head coach Ron Rivera witnessed the transformation of Newton from a rookie to a dual-threat dynamic playmaker and one of the best in the league, and he says he sees the same thing in another quarterback in the NFL.
In fact, he sees the same thing in the quarterback of their opponents this week, Jameis Winston of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
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"Our guy went through the same thing, exactly," Rivera said according to ESPN. "He wins a national championship, wins a Heisman Trophy and then his first couple of years in the league were hard. They were very hard. They were great learning experiences.
"In his third season, things just kind of came together. When I look at Tampa, I see those things. I really do. I just think it's one of those things -- with a little bit of patience and a little bit of time, I think they're headed in the right direction."
Tampa Bay started off the season strong, but they've dipped since, falling to a 1-3 record. Going up against a Carolina team without Newton due to injury is a perfect opportunity for Winston to prove his credentials and development towards becoming a quarterback like his Panthers counterpart.
So long as the Buccaneers continue to build around Winston in the years to come, there's no reason why he can't reach the same heights as Newton. He has the skill and quality, he just needs to stay consistent and a good leader like Cam was in 2015.
“I do see some of our guy in Jameis," Rivera said. "Jameis ... he wants to win. These guys compete to win. It's funny because people talk about, ‘Oh, he should learn this.' The only thing the guy knows is how to win and that's what he wants to do."