NFL 1 year ago

NFL: Will Cam Newton be ready for the 2017 season?

  • NFL: Will Cam Newton be ready for the 2017 season?

    (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)

It's safe to say that Cam Newton's 2016 season did not live up to his lofty expectations.

With a career-worst 75.8 passer rating coming from 3,509 passing yards (52.9% completion), 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, Newton's time under center was nothing short of shambolic.

As time in the pocket decreased courtesy of a weakened offensive line, the subsequent series of hits received left the former Heisman Trophy winner needing surgery to repair a partially torn rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder.

Speaking at the Annual League Meeting this past March, Carolina Panthers head coach, Ron Rivera, did not shy away from the struggles his quarterback endured:

"He's gonna have to rebuild his confidence. I mean, he was shook. Let's be honest. I'm not going to lie about that.

"The young man went through a tough time and we went through a tough time. Why? Because of the injuries we suffered on the offensive line.

"It just kind of shows you more of the importance of being able to protect your quarterback."

The Panthers went 6-10 last season, a remarkable regression from the 15-1 mark set en route to their Super Bowl 50 appearance the year before.

While Newton's confidence may take some time to rebuild, establishing rhythm and potency on offence will need to come right away if the Panthers are to compete in what will be a wide open NFC South division.

Indeed, while draft acquisitions, Christian McCaffrey (RB), Curtis Samuel (RB/WR) and Taylor Moton (RG) will go some way to improving the team's offensive potential, Newton's presence is crucial.

"Everything's good. I'm getting the mojo back," Newton said during an April interview for the Panthers' official website.

"It's not as tragic as some people made it out to be. But I'm still being a professional about it, still getting treatment and making sure I'm getting stronger with the rest of my body as well."

Despite the lack of concern emanating from the 28 year-old, we won't know the state his shoulder is in until he's had significant reps in training activities scheduled for June.

The Carolina Panthers will face the San Francisco 49ers on September 11 (AEST).
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