Cam is back!

Cam Newton

Cam is back!
December 02
12:44 2021

The Carolina Panthers did the absolute right thing and brought Cam Newton back to the team. With injured quarterback Sam Darnold not living up to expectations and Newton being a free agent at the time, it seemed like the perfect fit for both sides. 

“When you thought about the question, you ask yourself personally, ‘What are you looking for in a team?’ One of them, not in no particular order, are they a contender?” Newton said. “Two is, what’s the chances, do you have a realistic opportunity to be so late in the season to compete? No. 3, what’s the skill set around, so you can show your talents as well? Check, check, check. It was a no-brainer, and obviously, there was an added dimension where the familiarity here …

“But once again, I get to the point of everybody wants to make it about Cam’s back, this, that and the third. It’s really not. It’s really … Look, you know why I’m here, and this ain’t for no ploy, this ain’t for no ticket sales, this ain’t for no Cinderella story.  It’s to win football games, and that’s pretty much what’s on my heart and that’s how I’m going about it.”

The Panthers brought in Newton prior to the Arizona Cardinals game and he made an immediate impact, scoring two touchdowns in the game. In fact, he scored a touchdown the first time he touched the ball when he ran it in from two yards out in the first quarter of the game. 

After the score, he immediately ran to celebrate with his teammates and promptly took off his helmet and emphatically yelled, “I’m back” several times toward the crowd. The entire team seemed to feed off of his energy and the Panthers won the game handily 34-10.

Things did not fare so well for Newton in his homecoming to Bank of America Stadium the following week against the Washington Football Team. Newton played fairly well for a player in his second week with the team. He threw a touchdown pass and ran another in, but the Panthers lost 27-21 to Washington.

Newton had been without a job since he was cut by the New England Patriots prior to the start of the season. With all the poor quarterback play going on in the league this season, there were weekly questions by sports analysts about whether or not any team was going to bring in Newton because of his special skill set.

Cam is nowhere near where he was during his MVP year of 2015, but he is definitely better than any healthy quarterback the Panthers have on their roster. No shade to P.J Walker or Matt Barkley, but everyone knows that Newton gives the Panthers the best chance for success. Before even taking the field, Newton felt he could immediately help Carolina in any capacity they needed him to.

“There’s an old saying, stay ready so you won’t have to get ready, and safe to say I’ve been staying pretty ready,” Newton said during his press conference. “But it’s still a process though … I think my biggest impact that I want to kind of drive and I want to be driven home is accountability. I’m holding myself accountable to make sure that I do anything coach (Matt) Rhule asks of me, as well as coach Joe (Brady). Making sure that if they can trust me being a trusted teammate, then I can hold everybody else accountable.

“From P.J. to Matt, to even Sam, for that particular matter, it can easily get confused why and I can see how, but I can promise you that my mental going into this type of situation is to bring the pride back to Carolina in ways that I know how and others know how, too. It’s just making sure that we maximize each and every day.”

I think this was the perfect outcome for Newton and the Panthers after the Darnold experiment obviously didn’t work out for them. The Panthers are currently 5-7 at the time this article was written and are still in the hunt for a playoff spot. They have five games remaining on their schedule and have a good chance to win four or more of them.

Newton looked pretty good against Washington in his return home, but I think the best is yet to come once the jitters wear off and he is able to get more practice time in with his receivers. He was 21 of 27 for 189 yards and two touchdowns. He added another score and 46 more yards on the ground on 10 carries.  

“I feel like my chest was about to explode a couple of times,” Newton said about the welcome he received from the fans at Bank of America Stadium. “But all in all, it was warming, and I just appreciate the fans for coming out and showing their support, man. These last couple of days have just been overwhelming, and my prayer was pretty much that I hope I can just keep it in the road, man. But I wanted to enjoy the moment today. It didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to, or we wanted it to, but yet we can learn from it.”

I am so glad that Rhule and the Panthers are not just using Newton as a publicity stunt or just to get more people to the stadium. I think after the Arizona game, Rhule and the Panthers coaching staff realize that Newton gives them the best chance at winning. I personally am happy for him because there was no reason for him not being in the league to start the season.

There is no way anyone can tell me that there are 64 quarterbacks better than Cam Newton in the league right now. Granted, he may not be what he was, but the guy still has some left in the tank. I am not sure if this partnership will last past this season, so Panther fans should make sure they enjoy seeing Newton again if it’s for the final time. Unless they can find a franchise quarterback in the draft or free agency, which I highly doubt, then Newton should be on the roster.  

Welcome back, Cam.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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