The Carolina Panthers changed the offensive coaching staff this season, handing the reins to the Turner family, with the focus on raising the play of Cam Newton.
Coach Ron Rivera said upon hiring offensive coordinator Norv Turner that he wanted to see Newton get to “another level.” That level, however, won’t necessarily include making Cam a statuesque pocket passer.
Panthers new QB coach Scott Turner — who was a quality control coach in Carolina during Newton’s rookie season — told Max Henson of the team’s official website that Cam’s unique talent won’t go to waste.
“What he has done has really refined his game, really become a pro, but he’s going to play his way,” Turner said. “He’s going to run — that’s what makes him the dynamic player he is — but also making the throws in the pocket, going through his reads. All of those things come from experience, and he’s played seven seasons now.”
Turner’s job is to help Newton sand down the rough edges. The QB’s biggest trouble during his first seven seasons were fits of inaccuracy, often sailing passes high. For his career, he has a 58.5 completion percentage. The past two seasons he averaged a 56 percent completion rate on 1,002 pass attempts.
“A lot of things go into that — your eyes, your feet and ultimately your decision making. If you can get those three things down in regards to your completion percentage, a lot of times instead of trying to make the high-degree-of-difficulty throw, you can get the ball to the back or tight end,” Turner said. “He doesn’t need changing; he just needs to be the best version of Cam Newton.”
The best version of Newton is a dual-threat monster with a cannon arm who can fit the ball into any window. When Cam’s swag is on, he can be as deadly as any QB in the NFL. The goal of Scott and Norv Turner is to push the right buttons to keep Newton hot for longer stretches next season.
Clay-Chalkville will open the 2018 football season against Griffin, Ga., in an invitation tripleheader sponsored by former Auburn great and NFL Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.
The C1N High School Showcase will take place Aug. 25 at Lakewood Stadium in Atlanta.
It will be an Alabama vs. Georgia showdown. Westlake of Atlanta will face Sidney Lanier of Montgomery in the opener at 2 p.m. EDT. Clay will follow against Griffin High at 5 p.m. and Central of Phenix City will close out with a game against Mays of Atlanta at 8 p.m.
Coach Drew Gilmer’s team will also host Niceville, Fla., on Sept. 7. The Eagles went 6-4 last season, falling in the first round of the Florida state playoffs. The Cougars played Niceville at Hoover in 2014, beating the Eagles 44-23 before the ESPNU cameras in Ty Pigrome’s national coming out party. That is a one-year engagement.
But the Cougars’ trip to Atlanta is a two-year deal.
“It’s going to be fun,” Gilmer said. “It’s going to be exciting for our kids. Anything with Cam Newton’s name on it is big for the kids. It helps us being a two-year deal, and they’ll cover the travel expenses and that kind of stuff and it’s fun to do something a little bit different.”