Heading into last season, expectations were low for the Carolina Panthers and their new starting quarterback, 2011 number one overall NFL Draft pick Cam Newton. Cam was an enigma to most teams, with general managers and scouts split over whether the 2010 Heisman Trophy winner could translate his dual-threat ability to the professional level.
Most expected Cam to fail in the NFL. If he did succeed, it wasn’t expected to show until he’d spent a few years in the league.
Cam Newton destroyed those perceptions in his first NFL game. He threw for over 400 yards in both of his first two games and shattered NFL records in his rookie season – astounding for a quarterback many expected to struggle passing the ball.
First rookie to throw for 4,000+ yards in a season.
First rookie to throw for 10 touchdowns and run for 10 touchdowns in a season.
First quarterback to rush for 13 touchdowns in a season.
First player in NFL history with 4,000+ passing yards and 500+ rushing yards in a season.
Joined fellow rookie Andy Dalton as the first pair of rookie QB’s to make the Pro Bowl.
Needless to say, Cam shattered the ceiling others had put on him. Not bad for a player whom NFL Draft experts thought would never amount to more than a “running quarterback.”
Unlike last season, expectations are sky-high this year for Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. Carolina center Ryan Kalil took out a full-page in the Charlotte Observer in July promising a Panthers’ fan a Super Bowl.
There hasn’t been a lot to celebrate in Charlotte since Jake Delhomme’s playoff collapse against the Arizona Cardinals in 2008. There sure hasn’t been an offense with this kind of firepower since the team’s inception in 1995 with Kerry Collins, Wesley Walls, and Muhsin Muhammed.
That all changed with #1.
Instead of reveling in everything accomplishing during his rookie season, the Panthers’ quarterback spent his off-season at the team’s facility, studying film and training for the upcoming season. He competes every day to hoist that Lombardi Trophy for the team that took a chance on him.
Teams said he could never be a great NFL quarterback. Cam let his on-field play show them differently. Now experts question whether he can do it two years in a row. Cam Newton is out to prove there will be no “sophomore slump” for North Carolina’s Superman. Just watch him.