Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is becoming more and more frustrated with the team as they continue to lose. While Newton has contributed to his team’s woes with his sophomore slump, perhaps there is also some blame that can be handed down to the Panthers coaching staff for the team’s struggles.
With two big money running backs in DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart and a first-round quarterback in Newton, there is no reason that the Panthers shouldn’t be able to move the ball in the running game.
Why is there a struggle?
You need to look no further than the Panthers play-calling.
Carolina is trying to utilize an zone-read option style offense for their running game and it has continuously backfired on the team. The Panthers are outsmarting themselves and the poor results on the field are hurting Cam Newton’s performance and psyche.
Leading up to the Detroit Lions – Chicago Bears game on on ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown, analyst Ron Jaworski gave his thoughts on how Carolina can fix their problem.
“In the offseason, I went back and studied 517 passing attempts from Cam Newton,” Jaworski said. “There were a lot of flaws in his games that were not exposed last season. This is not a ‘sophomore slump,’ as we like to say now. It’s a growing period. An embryonic development that all young quarterbacks go through.
“That being said, what I believe the Carolina Panthers must do is help him. A young quarterback’s best friend is a running game. Forget about all these college runs they’re trying to put in. Get back to some base, fundamental, NFL-style runs. That will set up the ability — like the Redskins are doing with Robert Griffin III — to allow him to get on the edge and use a play-action passing game.”
There is no question that Jaws knows his stuff and the Panthers would be wise to listen. Put the ball in the hands of your big money running backs and use conventional style runs to move the ball.
Don’t try to get cute. Don’t try to get flashy. Just run the ball north and south, move the chains and give your young quarterback some help.