12 September 2011

Let's Not Label Cam Newton a Star Yet

Did anybody expect such an awesome performance from the top pick in this year's draft, Cam Newton, in his NFL debut against the Arizona Cardinals? I sure did not. In fact, I doubt many that Newton would throw for more yards than any rookie quarterback in his starting debut with 422 yards plus a pair of touchdowns in nearly leading the Carolina Panthers to the victory in the most exciting game of the week thus far that was not on NBC. Even more impressive is the fact that he didn't look hindered at all by the lockout. And while Newton's debut was so impressive many can't wait to see him develop, let's not appoint him a superstar yet.
If anyone expects Newton to play like he did on Sunday the whole season, they are insane (I doubt anyone would be anyways). Newton is going to have his ups and his downs this year, some Sundays he'll play great, some he will stink up the joint. He's a rookie quarterback and even the best rookie quarterbacks (Sam Bradford for example) will have their subpar days. You have to hope that Newton himself won't have higher expectations for himself after Sunday because that will make the off days even harder for him.
But you definitely saw the star potential and the intangibles you want to see in your franchise quarterback. Newton was calm, cool and collected and showed tremendous poise. He did not scramble and run when the pressure was in his face. And he came so close to leading the game-tying drive before it stalled in the red zone.
Let's not put him in the elite category just yet but there's reason to believe it will not be long.

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