Like most who watched him his first six seasons, Cam Newton is well aware which part of his game needs the most improvement.
But even if the Dave Gettleman era hadn’t ended abruptly, odds were always extremely high that the Panthers and Davis would eventually agree on something.
“I was comfortable and confident that something was going to get done,” Davis said. “It’s a process; it’s not just something that happens overnight. It’s a negotiation for a reason. Both sides came together, we came up with something that was fair for both sides, and now we’re moving forward.”
The second-round pick began slowly increasing his workload over the past couple of weeks, and when he returned to team drills Monday, he joined the No. 1 offense for a handful of snaps.
While most of the starters will play into the second half Thursday night, the plan is different for Newton and Samuel.”We wouldn’t take the guys that are coming back and expect them to play all the way into the third quarter,” Rivera said after Tuesday’s practice. Quarterback Cam Newton took another step forward Monday, taking part in every drill, including 7-on-7 and team work ahead of Thursday’s preseason game at Jacksonville.
It was the most extensive work for Newton since the first week of training camp, before shoulder soreness limited his involvement. And late in practice, Newton uncorked a deep pass, which is something the Panthers have mostly held in check following his offseason shoulder surgery.
Soreness is one thing, but Newton also has to shake off the rust after missing a good portion of training camp and sitting out the first two preseason games.
As had become clear when the Panthers held Cam Newton out of team drills during this week’s joint practices in Tennessee, the Panthers don’t plan to play their quarterback in Saturday’s preseason game against the Titans. But his recovery from offseason shoulder surgery remains on track.
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The quarterback on Tuesday took part in every drill featuring the first-team offense for the second straight day, and even though much of the work was against a scout team defense, Newton appeared dialed in.
Per what’s essentially tradition across the NFL, the cheap Panthers jerseys and Steelers sat nearly all their essential starters for their fourth and final preseason game.Of course, big things are also expected of Newton, even if he hasn’t completed a deep pass against live competition since the end of last season.
“He’s throwing the ball well,” said Rivera, who confirmed Newton won’t have any throwing restrictions against the 49ers. “I’m very excited about it and look forward to the things we’re going to do out there.”
Beginning with Rivera’s comments about an “evolving” offense late last season and continuing with the additions of McCaffrey and Samuel, folks around the league have been looking forward to what the Panthers’ offense could look like. But the ceiling for that potential production, as always, hinges on No. 1.
Thanks to a revamped diet featuring fewer snacks, Newton trimmed down to around 245 pounds this summer, the lightest he’s been since coming to Carolina. So while shoulder soreness and rusty timing with his receivers are legit concerns, getting into playing shape shouldn’t be as much of an uphill battle as it could be for a guy who played just one series in the preseason.
Newton is scheduled to increase his workload in practice when the Panthers return to Charlotte, and he could make his preseason debut Thursday night in Jacksonville. Contrary to reports, Newton did not have his shoulder evaluated on Friday, and coaches and the team’s training staff were pleased with the work he was able to put in this week.