All the speculating is over. Cam Newton is our guy now. He has (to say the least) been a polarizing figure here at CSR and throughout the nation. There are definitely Cam haters and Cam lovers. They are the most vocal obviously, but I think there are more of us that are somewhere in between. We hear the arguments for and against and take a more balanced view.You can't deny that it is a risky pick. I'm not going to re-hash all the positive and negatives associated with Newton; we and the national media have been doing that for the last two months. It's well documented.
One of the biggest concerns about Newton is whether or not he has the commitment, intelligence, and desire to become a great NFL QB. Imagine for a moment that there were none of these concerns with the guy. He had no off the field issues, he had proven (as much as a college player can) that he had the desire to be great, and he had the intelligence to learn an NFL playbook and transition from a spread offense to the NFL. If these concerns weren't as big as they are now would you want him taken #1??
We all have opinions. The job of the media is to drive traffic to a T.V program, a web site, or newspaper. In America today you don't do that by being middle of the road. You do that by having an opinion that will drive traffic or having a story that is so interesting that people want to read it or hear it. All the speculating on Cam Newton and his off the field issues is driven by media reports. Obviously there is a reason for the reports. Things have happened in his past, there is no denying that. What I'm asking, is that everyone stop and ask themselves why they have the opinions they do. Are they based on facts, gut feelings, reports you've read?
We don't know more about Cam Newton than JR, Hurney and Rivera. Let me say that again. We don't know more than these guys making the decision. They have spent the last two months digging deeply into Cam Newton's past. Watch the press conference Hurney and Rivera had after drafting Newton. One of the things you come away with is that at least we know they put a ton of effort into checking out all these stories that have be swirling around Newton. These guys have their job riding on this pick. They know it. They know if they miss on the #1 pick they are probably out of the job in a few years. Think about if you made decisions like that in your job. Wouldn't you make damn well sure your decision was as good as it could be if it meant the wrong decision would cost you your job? You could still make a wrong decision, but at least you felt good knowing that you had all the facts possible to make that decision.
The point I'm making is that Cam Newton is now a part of the Carolina Panthers. Whatever your opinions were before, we all need to stop the in-fighting and Cam-bashing and support the player as part of the team. He will be the face of the franchise. At this point we all need to have at least a little trust and optimism that the organization feels that Cam Newton can play QB in the NFL and be the franchise QB we have needed for the last few years. If we start to watch Newton play on Sundays and we want to bash his play at that point then go right ahead. Once we begin to see this guy play, perform, and lead over the next few years we can form our opinions on what kind of QB he is.
For now I ask that we put aside our bias, past emotions, and judgment on our newest Panther and have a little bit of trust that our front office has done the work needed to to ensure that all the off-field questions swirling around this guy have been answered. We all can then watch this guy on and off the field over the next few years and begin to form our opinions on what we see he actually does, and not "reports" from some media outlet or opinions from some talking head.
Welcome to the Panthers Cam.
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