Obviously Cam Newton has surpassed everything anyone (even the most ardent Panther supporters) could have predicted this year. The way he has played after only having 7 weeks of training camp to learn the ins and outs of the offense, ( and of course with Weinke at IMG) as well as adjusting to the speed of the NFL has been really remarkable. What I've been somewhat reluctant to think about due to me not wanting to get my expectations too high, or to jinx Cam and the Panthers, is where does his upside end. How much more can we truly expect from him moving forward? More questions and thoughts after the jump.
I'm interested to hear from the knowledgeable Panther fans we have on CSR. What do we expect next year? in 3 years? in 7 years? I'm hesitant to bring this up because I am somewhat superstitious, but what does everyone think we can expect from him at the top of his game, his best season every in a few years? Does he have a Josh Freeman let down? Does he continue to redefine the QB position? Does he turn into a student of the game QB like Manning or Brady and just pick apart opposing defenses and not have to scramble? We are trying to predict a talent like no one has seen at the position. The things Cam has done this year we really haven't seen in the NFL....ever.
I think when his career is all said and done this year will be his best rushing year ever. Chud played to his strengths this year with the shortened off season. He incorporated a lot of what Cam already knew from the spread option in college. As Cam learns how to read his passing options better, and learns the offense, his completion percentage will increase and his need to run will drop off especially in the red zone. I see him still getting 6-7 rushing touchdowns a year but not close the the 14 he has this year. His yearly rushing yardage will also drop into the 350-450 range. He may still have a game or two when the game dictates he runs more, but overall he will only NEED to run on a few key plays a game. The threat of Cam taking off and running will still be a big part of what opposing defensive coordinators have to plan for.
I see Cam's passing numbers topping out in the 4400-4700 range. His completion percentage will rise into the mid 60% range and his touchdown to interception ratio will steadily improve. I'm not sure he ever really has low interception numbers due to his desire for down field passing. I'm fine with that. He will continue to have a very high yards per attempt average as he continues to make the big passes down field. I could see him passing for 40 TD's as a high but still having 14 -16 interceptions due to his tendency to try for the big play.
Next year I think Cam progresses and does the following
62% comp% 4200yrds 28 TDs 16 interceptions 600 yrds rushing 8 rushing TDs
His "best year ever". Tough to predict.
66% comp% 4800yrds 38 TDs 10 ints 550 yrds rushing 9 rushing TDs
Overall when all is said and done, this is what I think may be an "average" Cam newton stat line.
64% compl % 4300 yrds 32 TDs 14 ints 400 yrds rushing 6 rushing TDs--- and a couple of Super bowls, please.
I'd make a poll to see what you all think but I have suspicions that opinions will vary wildly on many of the stats and I don't want to pigeon hole anyone into a certain number. Give me your thoughts on what we can expect next year, his best year, as well as an average year.