It's undeniable that the work Fred Whitfield Jr (left) has done with Cam Newton is starting to take hold. (Photo by Kent Horner/ Getty Images)
I was at work, so I was unable to watch Nick Fairley's workout. I will rely on someone else to cover that, but I did see all of Cam Newton's position workout.
It's easy to be jaded, to rely and lean on preconceptions, or to try and attach caveats and asterisks to today's session- but honestly, if you didn't see vast improvement and potential today then you need to think about what blinders you have on.
Was Cam Newton perfect? Absolutely not, but few are before they reach the NFL.
Newton showed a total of 64 passes in his workout. A series of 60 pre-arranged passes in which he went 50/60 with 3 drops, and a combined four extra passes requested by Tennessee and I believe Carolina (not 100% sure). What I saw was a player still developing, and still getting comfortable under center. His back pedal isn't as fluid as you want it to be, and he looks a little mechanical taking snaps under center, but the progression is there.
More after the jump...
UPDATE: AL.com has video of some of Newton's passes (albeit shaky) overlaying his press conference this afternoon. Best archived video I can find right now. Watch it here
In his 'NFL routes' Newton was very impressive as he delivered out routes, slants and comebacks with accuracy and velocity unseen in Indianapolis. The 'high and wide' wasn't really present, as more often than not his WRs were catching passes easily in stride.
He began to overthrow on a few ocassions on the deeper, over 30 yard routes including the posts, wheels and fly routes, these sailed to the tune of 5-6 yards long each. Concerning, but not 'game breaking'.
Cam went to the 10 yard line to perform ten passes in goal line situations, and these were equally accurate and impressive. He needs to do a better job finding the back corner on his fades, but that is a supremely difficult route to throw for many QBs.
Tennessee asked Newton to perform some 12 yard curls in which he threw two passes before the WRs break, both of them were receptions. Carolina (possibly) followed asking for some 7-step post routes, he went 1-2 with one drop.
Media and scout's reactions were unanimous: Today Cam Newton was very impressive. Todd McShay was gushing over Newton today compared to the combine reading off a laundry list of improvements, but acknowledging he's a work in progress. Darin Gantt paying attention to scouts said:
Deep balls, wheel routes, you see some coaches grinning and nodding. They like what they're seeing. Workout over. Better than combine. General reaction was good. We'll talk to him soon.
In nine days we'll get to compare Newton to Gabbert. I have no clue whether the Panthers are really interested in Newton, or whether this is smokescreen to bait a trade, but I think based on today's improvement vs. Indianapolis I think teams will think strongly about whether it's worth it to move up for Newton.
Before someone asks: No, I haven't forgotten about the off-field issues, or the concerns about his football IQ. Honestly, it's been done, it's played and none of us know for sure what happened and frankly none of us need to be convinced. I'll leave that up to the Carolina Panthers to decide, I'm just purely judging what I saw today vs. what we saw in Indianapolis.