Ken Medlin

Cam Newton's proving a lot of people wrong

Posted October 10, 2011

I admit it. I was wrong.

Really, really, really wrong.

I thought Cam Newton was a reach as the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft. I thought the Panthers were more concerned about selling tickets than winning football games, and I thought the selection reeked of desperation.

And then the season started.

Newton has been better than I could have imagined. He has already accounted for 12 touchdowns this season - seven through the air, and five more on the ground. But more importantly, the Panthers are relevant again. They're only 1-4 this season, but all of their losses have come by a touchdown or less and the Panthers have been "in" every game until the very end.

Compare that to 2010, when the Panthers lost 12 games by double-digit margins, and The Newton Effect can be quantified.

Consider this statement from Saints coach Sean Payton:

"More than anything else, he (Newton) gives them hope, and confidence, and a chance to win each time they play," Payton said. "That's the biggest difference in them right now."

Yep, hope and confidence are two things that were sorely missing last season.

When the Panthers made this pick, I was convinced Newton would be a "project," a guy the Panthers would have to bring along slowly. Here was a guy known more for his rushing skills than his passing, and the Panthers made him the No. 1? All I could envision was a lengthy - and painful - learning curve during which the Panthers consistently got their heads kicked in game after game.

You know, like last season...

I also couldn't help but think the Panthers were still shell-shocked from the beatings Michael Vick used to give them with the Falcons. They were looking for a quarterback that could do THAT for THEM, I thought, and Newton's running ability fit the bill.

Newton certainly is mobile, but he's not acting like a "run-first" quarterback in this Panthers offense. Now, I think the Ben Roethlisberger comparisons may be more accurate - Newton's size and mobility allow him to shake a tackle or two in the pocket to buy time to find a receiver, much like Big Ben has done for years.

The bottom line is this: I look forward to watching the Panthers play again, and Cam Newton is the single, most important reason for that.

I was wrong about this pick, and man... am I glad I was.



4 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Packman24 Oct 12, 2011

    I have been on the Cam bandwagon since we drafted him and I'm very glad to see that there is not much hating going on about him now!! There is not a better way to shut your critics up than going out and performing. I'm not saying he's the best but he's 100 times better than Clausen. Clausen's going to have to give that jersey up next season!!! Go Panthers!!!

  • jbthehuntergroup Oct 11, 2011

    C-Customized

    A-Automated

    M-Machine!!!

    Hey Medlin enjoy the smoke in Cam's rearview mirror. lol

  • StunGunn Oct 11, 2011

    Well, Ken, I was firmly in your pre-season camp of thought, although I didn't think the Panthers picked Newton #1 to sell tickets, I thought their desperation was at the QB position, and it was. But, I was all wrong about Newton. I thought he'd be a flop in the NFL - unable to grasp the intracacies of the game (he was pretty one dimensional at the college level), and I also thought he'd bring plenty of attitude. His willingness to learn surprises me more than anything. His athleticism is astounding. I now think the Panthers made a great decision with their #1 pick, although I'm still upset they let Kasay go.

    So, yes, I was completely wrong about Newton, now all I want to see is some "W's".

  • VT1994Hokie Oct 10, 2011

    That's OK Ken. Most of the people on here thought the same thing. I was one of the rare few that stated that he would rise up and do the job down there in the Pre-Season. He is on his way to be the Rookie of the Year. Remember that I was the first to write this.

  • CBB: Texas A&M at LSU

    Saturday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CIAA: Winston Salem State @ Fayetteville State

    Saturday at 4:00 pm on METV 50.2

  • Nascar Sprint Cup Series: Sprint Unlimited

    Saturday at 8:00 pm on FOX50

  • Nascar Sprint Cup Series: Daytona 500 Qualifying

    Sunday at 1:00 pm on FOX50

  • CBB: UNC vs. Pittsburgh

    Sunday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

    Sunday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBB: Oregon at Cal

    Tomorrow at 9:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • CBB: NC State vs. Wake Forest

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-FM

Phoenix Open (PGA)
PosNameScoreThru
1H. Matsuyama - z-14F
2R. Fowler - y-14F
3H. English-12F
4D. Lee-11F
5B. Weekley-10F
6tW. Wilcox-9F
6tJ. Holmes-9F
6tS. Lowry-9F
6tJ. Huh-9F
6tB. Molder-9F
View Full Leaderboard
z = Won in Playoff   y = Lost in Playoff
 
Allianz Champ (CHMP)
PosNameScoreThru
1E. Toledo - z-11F
2B. Andrade - y-11F
3tT. Byrum-10F
3tJ. Sluman-10F
5T. Lehman-9F
6tB. Bryant-8F
6tC. Montgomerie-8F
6tD. Garwood-8F
6tJ. Huston-8F
10tJ. Maggert-7F
View Full Leaderboard
z = Won in Playoff   y = Lost in Playoff
 
ATP Scoreboard
Tuesday, Feb. 9
Memphis Open (ATP)
First Round
M. Jaziri1 3    
M. Granollers6 6    
(7) J. Millman6 63 7   
A. Krajicek3 77 5   
M. Ebden1 0    
H. Laaksonen6 3    
T. Fritz6 6    
M. Mmoh3 4    
D. Sela77 2 5   
R. Berankis65 6 7   
(8) D. Dzumhur6 4 6   
T. Smyczek3 6 3   
B. Becker6 3 6   
T. Paul4 6 3   
 
World Tennis Tournament (ATP)
First Round
G. Garcia-Lop7 4 4   
H. Chung5 6 6   
A. Seppi6 62 4   
G. Muller4 77 6   
P. Kohlschrei6 6    
J. Benneteau4 4    
(4) D. Goffin1 7 65   
M. Baghdatis6 5 77   
(5) G. Monfils6 6    
E. Gulbis4 4    
T. Robredo2 77 3   
M. Klizan6 65 6   
 
Argentina Open (ATP)
First Round
R. Olivo7 7    
F. Bagnis6 5    
D. Munoz-De L6 4 1   
G. Elias4 6 6   
(8) P. Cuevas7 6    
A. Ramos-Vino5 2    
D. Lajovic79 6    
F. Arguello67 3    
(6) F. Fognini77 4 4   
F. Delbonis64 6 6   
P. Lorenzi2 7 6   
P. Andujar6 5 2   
(5) D. Thiem6 3 6   
P. Carreno Bu0 6 3   
J. Monaco6 6    
M. Cecchinato1 3    
 
WTA Scoreboard
Tuesday, Feb. 9
St. Petersburg Ladies (WTA)
First Round
J. Ostapenko4 3    
Y. Wickmayer6 6    
C. Witthoeft6 6    
T. Paszek3 3    
B. Strycova3 4    
K. Kozlova6 6    
(9) M. Niculescu6 6    
N. Vikhlyants0 3    
T. Babos77 7    
K. Siniakova60 5    
(5) A. Pavlyuchen6 4 6   
K. Koukalova4 6 4   
M. Gasparyan6 6    
B. Jovanovski1 2    
 
Taiwan Open (WTA)
First Round
K. Chang6 3 4   
S. Voegele1 6 6   
(7) K. Nara6 6    
Q. Wang1 3    
(4) Z. Diyas5 6 6   
L. Kichenok7 1 2   
(6) S. Hsieh77 4 6   
A. Okuno61 6 2   
Y. Wang5 5    
M. Linette7 7    
Second Round
(4) Z. Diyas5 6 4   
E. Kulichkova7 0 6   
(3) Y. Putintseva6 5 6   
M. Kato4 7 0