A running quarterback has a natural proclivity towards escaping the pocket and scrambling, rather than sticking it out and looking for the open man, or so the stereotype goes.
Cam Newton is not only an exception to that dated school of thought, he is often its antithesis.
It is a funny thought, Cam Newton, the Panthers leading rusher on the season, is often hesitant to flee the pocket and break the play. In the the long run, I think this is a good trait; Newton is far more likely to find a bigger, or better play by staying in the pocket, than he is dodging linebackers at the line of scrimmage. This is also a sign of maturity, and discipline: Cam isn't frightened by blitzers (even when he should be; c'est la vie), and he has shown a willingness to stay in the pocket and follow through with ex-OC Rob Chudzinski's plays, rather than breaking off and running free-bird, a la Mike Vick, circa 2003.
Note that this isn't a green light to hold on to the football. For much of the year Cam struggled with holding on to the ball for too long, resulting in coverage sacks.
At times Newton needs to realize that he is the Panthers' most potent offensive weapon. Football is the ultimate team sport, but that doesn't always circumscribe a player to playing exclusively by the system. In key situations the ball needs to be in the hands of an offenses' playmaker, which in our case, is Cam Newton.
Far too often during the 2012 campaign, the Panthers Offense would back itself into unfavorable third down scenarios, leaving little to doubt about the Panthers play call, and exposing the offensive line to blitzes.
Cat Scratch Reader | Feb 11