I thought he was pretty accurate in college esp on his deep ball and t has not been glaring in the pro games of his I've watched. A small sample, granted.
I'm talking relative to the top QBs. As Ron Jaworski said on his QB countdown, Cam's accuracy can be scattershot. Too often. He doesn't throw with great anticipation and timing, at least not on a consistent basis. He's more of a thrower than a passer, if you get the distinction. I agree, his deep ball is one of the prettiest, most impressive I've seen. That, and his mobility are his greatest strengths. His weaknesses are throwing with anticipation, timing, and consistent accuracy. The ideal offense will play to his strengths, which is throwing down the field. That ideal offense is one that takes pressure off him by running the ball consistently and also plays good defense so that they can keep scores low so that Cam won't have to play catch-up all the time is the ideal team. Think the 2008-10 Ravens, or the current 49ers/Seahawks teams.
Talented as heck, dumb as a rock. Michael Vick was the exact same way. Go figure, Michael Vick is Cam's hero.
There are a ton of easy comparisons to make between Vick and Newton. Both were lacking in collegiate experience. Both were players that largely relied on their unique athleticism to succeed at the collegiate level. Both are/were raw pocket passers. Both suffer from immaturity.
But I think there is one key difference between Vick and Newton. I don't sense one single bit that Cam doesn't want "it." Vick was lazy and didn't want to put in the work. He didn't want to be a pocket passer. He wanted to play "backyard football". Let me be me. I'm the last one in the building, the first one out the door. That was how Vick was.
Cam is not that way. Cam hates losing. Cam isn't a quitter. He pouts, sure. He needs to do a better job handling adversity. Absolutely. But when the Panthers were 2-8 last year, did Cam quit on his team? No. He proceeded to play his best football because the team went to a more conventional rushing attack and played better defense. He got more support, and the Panthers won 5 of their final 6 games.
In both 2005 and 2006, when the Falcons were eliminated from playoff contention, Vick opted to stop showing up and quit on his team twice.
That's a fundamental difference between the two, and while they may be alike on 90% of the other stuff, that 10% makes up the difference.
Will Cam ever be a Top QB? If by Top QB, you mean the type that can go toe to toe with Aaron Rodgers, the Mannings, in the same way that Matt Ryan can? Then IMO the answer is NO.
But I don't think he has to be. IMHO, this is the same issue that Jay Cutler faces. People keep trying to make him into something that he is not, nor will he ever be. Bill Barnwell wrote something fascinating last year
, comparing Cutler to Tom Brady. Brady pulls many of the same antics that Cutler is villified for, but because Brady won early
in his career, it is seen as positive, while in the case of Cutler it's immaturity and negative.
Bill Barnwell wrote:
It's more than that, though. We let Favre get away with those bad games because he won a Super Bowl relatively early in his career, at which point he was free to produce all the stinkers he wanted. You wouldn't be surprised to hear that Favre trails only Drew Bledsoe for most four-interception games since 1990. You know who's tied with Favre, though? Tom Brady, another player who won early in his career and gets insulated from the sort of critiques Cutler suffers from when he plays poorly.2 How viciously would we have excoriated Cutler if he had been the one at the helm of that dismal Patriots loss to the Ravens in the 2009 playoffs? Or the Jets loss in 2010? What if Cutler had been the one who scored 14 points in Super Bowl XLII? Because Brady had already won his Super Bowls and established himself at some higher level of performance, we see those disappointing performances as bad games. If they had been Cutler starts, those would have been career-defining failures.
You say it's about Cam's attitude. No, it's not. It's about winning. If he had the same attitude and his team was winning, no one would be complaining. They'd be talking about that chip he has on his shoulder. Eli Manning was considered too passive a leader in his early days in New York. Joe Flacco was boring and dispassionate. Both when a title, and now it's quiet confidence, steady under pressure, etc.
If the Panthers were 10-6 instead of 6-10, yours and everyone's perception of Cam Newton would be vastly different.
In 2010, it was unfair to compare Matt Ryan who had played just 30 games to guys like Brady and Manning that had played roughly 150. It's the same with Newton now, as you compare him to Ryan. At least with Ryan, we expected that over time he would grow into that Brady/Manning type of QB. With Newton, he's never going to be that type of QB. And thus comparing him to Ryan, or any of the elite/near-elite QB's is folly.
Like Cutler or Matt Stafford, Tony Romo or Drew Bledsoe, or Michael Vick, or Daunte Culpepper, or Chris Chandler, or whomever, at a certain point their respective team is going to have to accept that this QB is of a certain type. And in the case of Carolina, who have gotten 2 good years from Steve Beurlein, 5 solid years from Jake Delhomme, and another 9 years of terrible to poor QB play, they have to realize that while Newton is not perfect, he's the best option they have.
Tony Romo isn't the problem in Dallas. Does Romo need to play better? Absolutely. But the core of the problem in Dallas is they don't run the ball. Because the Cowboys, their fans, and the media haven't realized that Tony Romo isn't going to be Tom Brady. Hell, he'll probably never be Matt Ryan. They need to run the ball.
Matt Stafford isn't the problem in Detroit. Stafford's mechanics were horrendous last year. He needs to clean that up. But he could if they ran the ball, and he wasn't asked to throw the ball 700 times a year. Stafford has a ton of bad habits and they won't get eliminated if they don't start to balance their offensive attack.
Like those two, Cam's got his issues that he needs to fix. But he's far down the list of problems the Panthers have.