If you believe Ron Rivera, Cam will not have any restrictions running this year. If you ask me, it just doesn’t add up. The Panthers brought in Mike Tolbert who is a bowling ball capable of goal line carries. Factor in DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart (who has a bit of size himself), and we have three very capable running backs. Where does Cam fit into the equation?
Of course, Williams and Stewart were in Carolina last year when Newton eclipsed 700 yards on the ground. Tolbert will likely be lining up as a Fullback, so he won’t nearly see the number of touches he did last year in San Diego. It isn’t unrealistic to see Newton on the ground just as much, if not more. If the decision were up to Cam, he certainly wouldn’t shy away from the ground game. However, if I were coaching the Panthers, I would want my QB upright as much as possible.
Newton isn’t your typical running Quarterback. He is built more like a tight end, and frequently bowled over defenders at Auburn. The guy isn’t exactly injury prone. It isn’t like Michael Vick running around like a ticking time bomb ready to blow. Newton offers a ton on the ground as well as in the air. If it weren’t for the Panthers extreme depth at RB, I would be all for Newton hitting the ground running. However, with a three headed monster able to carry the ball, I would take caution in Newton outside of the pocket. I still expect some solid runs from Cam, but if I had it my way I’d tone it down a bit from last year.