Panther Paw Prints: 6/6/2013

Here's the latest Panther Paw Prints from around the interwebs from the last few days.

Here Newton from an OTA interview talking about maximizing every play:

Newton making the most of offseason
"This league is about win, win, win, no matter what," Newton said. "This city and state are (hungry) for a winning season. As a player, you owe that to the fans and to yourself, especially with all the hard work that everybody's been putting in during the offseason. "I'm not going to get into the logistics of finishing the season because that's months and months away. But I do feel that if we do what we're capable of doing with maximizing each and every play and being smart about it, I think everything else will take care of itself." Newton played smarter football down the stretch last season, and it showed on the scoreboard. He accounted for 13 touchdowns and 13 turnovers during the Panthers' first 10 games, when Carolina went 2-8. Over the final six games, when the Panthers went 5-1, Newton accounted for 14 touchdowns and two turnovers. "I learned as the season went on, and that's the phase that I'm still in now," Newton said. "I have to be mature in plays. If it's third-and-short, let's get a first down. If a play downfield is called, I have to be mindful enough to take a check down if it's not there."

I'm not sure Smitty would agree with that last statement. Just chuck it down field, Smitty will go get it!

Bryan Strickland of Panthers.com makes me proud with a good take down of NFL.com's write-up on Newton being voted one of the top 100 players in the NFL:

Top 100 piece on Newton misses mark
While I understand that being included, I don't understand how a show designed to celebrate the top 100 players in the NFL handles the Newton vignette from there. It simply trails off with footage of Newton's unsportsmanlike conduct penalty during a Week 16 victory over the Oakland Raiders. Simply put, it leaves a bad taste in the viewer's mouth. Compare that to the piece on Eli Manning at No. 43. The narrator pointed out with both Manning and Newton that they had slipped a few spots in the rankings from last year, but while Newton's piece featured Bailey and his penalty from there, Manning's went like this. "Eli Manning dropped 12 spots to No. 43 on the players' list despite establishing himself as one of the league's most clutch quarterbacks," the narrator said. "To paraphrase the immortal words of Rodney Dangerfield, ‘Eli gets no respect.' Perhaps a third Super Bowl MVP is needed." Actually, the narrator went out of his way to impart all due respect. Established himself as clutch? What, with some late heroics in a playoff-less season following a Super Bowl season? And wasn't he already established as clutch with the two titles and all? Newton does have a long ways to go, and he'll be the first to admit that. Still, he's thrown for more yards in his first two seasons than any quarterback in NFL history. Perhaps that would have been worth mentioning.

I would say it was very much worth mentioning.

Here's a nice story on OG Justin Wells, who teaches grade school when he's not in uniform. Wells seems to have an issue with getting hsi students to believe he actually plays in the NFL:

The Charlotte Post - Long shot? Yes, but opportunity knocks
"They were like, ‘You’re real big,’" Wells said. "And I would them I was playing football and they’d be like whatever. I’m from Baltimore and our kids will tell you straight up how they feel, so they were like ‘You ain’t playing in the NFL.’ I said I was and I’ll be back there."

I'm sure the kids are thinking "Well what is he doing here then?". Legit question I say. The RG spot is there for the taking for Wells but I bet he's happy to have a back-up plan.

I linked this in my earlier fantasy post but wanted to mention I don't think these secondaries will be as porous as they were in 2012:

NFL fantasy football: QB rankings based on schedule - NFL.com
2013 Outlook: Newton (4th), who has finished in the top four in fantasy points in each of his first two NFL seasons, will have a nice advantage in 2013 based on FPA. The talented field general will play in 11 games against opponents that surrendered 16-plus fantasy points to the position in 2012, including matchups versus the Saints (2), Buccaneers (2), Vikings and Bills. Look for Newton to come off the board in one of the first three rounds in the majority of 2013 fantasy leagues.

The Panthers get can't get a break in the scheduling area though I am happy with the moderate first four games.

I only link this one up because of the 'small market' mention, something I usually disagree with:

Carolina Panthers: Luke Kuechly Training Camp Profile
His rookie season went about as well as possible, the only shame is that he really didn’t get a ton of credit for his efforts. Mostly because he plays in a small market, and simply because the Panthers weren’t that great last year. But, 2013 should be a different story. Kuechly isn’t quite a household name with NFL fans yet, but that could change if he can follow up his tremendous rookie campaign. It’s not going to be easy to lead to the league in tackles two seasons in a row, but the talented MLB certainly is no fluke. He’s more than capable of putting up these kind of numbers for a long time.

I would say DROY is a pretty good amount of recognition. The guy now has his own commercial even! My point is there is no such thing as a small market in the NFL when it comes to media attention. If you play lights out you will get attention.

Funny how if the media isn't taking shots at Newton they are comparing others to him in an opposite fashion. Remeber when they loved to say Dalton was so much better than Newton? That isn't happening so much anymore. And then there is this top 10 pic at QB who I still can't believe Locker was drafted so high:

Tennessee Titans QB Jake Locker is in a Make or Break Season in 2013 - Yahoo! Sports
Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton and Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton were handed the keys to their teams' offenses from their rookie seasons. Dalton has led the Bengals to the playoffs while Cam Newton set the passing record and has had some success as the starter in Carolina. But what about Titans quarterback Jake Locker? The former University of Washington quarterback has not even played a full season yet. Last year was supposed to be his year to take over the Titans offense. But due to injuries, he was never really able to get on track in his first year as a starter.

What is the difference between Locker and Tim Tebow anyway? Locker just slightly more accurate?

Newton left a lasting impression on many people from his days at Auburn:

Photos: Cam Newton on 'War Eagle,' dress for success and more - Charlotte Business Journal

Newton faced a reporter who knows nothing about fashion, a fact he gleaned the moment he glanced in my direction. We do share one thing, though: Both of us attended Southesatern Conference schools. Thus, Newton was greeted with this LSU grad’s lament over a 49-yard, third-quarter scrambling TD by the then-Auburn quarterback in 2010, a jaunt that dazzled a national audience watching on CBS as Newton outran LSU’s best player, Patrick Peterson. "It’s all right," Newton said upon hearing of lingering frustration over a touchdown he scored three years ago. "I’ve heard worse."

I'm sure he has heard much worse...in Tuscaloosa for sure.

Moving to the NFC South, might this guy be a bu..bu..buuust:

Da'Quan Bowers: 'Double-digit sacks' or bust for Bucs - NFL.com
This week, Schiano chimed in again, saying: "If he wants to be more than just a situational pass rusher, he's got to grind through it, he's got to go through the pain of being an every-down player. ... I'm sure banking on it. But you've got to do it." The Bucs have shown plenty of faith and patience in Bowers. On a rebuilt and potentially nasty defense, he's running out of excuses for why they should wait too much longer.

I hope so ;)

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