The short answer? No. The long answer? It’s complicated.
What’s the most important quality in a starting quarterback? Work ethic. All indications are that Cam Newton is one of the hardest workers in the NFL. His teammates and coaches, and fans all heap praise on him for not being afraid of the work necessary to be a signal caller in this league. If Cam struggles, then it will be more a result of excellent scouting and defensive strategy than a result of his work ethic.
Another reason Cam will have a better year? The lock-out. Cam just had the best rookie quarterback season ever on a tightly compacted offseason, avoided injury, took the starting sport, and rode it all the way to the NFC Pro Bowl in Hawaii. The idea of what Cam can do with a whole off-season working on his game is frightening. Cam will come to camp in great shape both mentally and physically, and the rest of the Panthers offense better come to play. Cam was reportedly at the Panthers facility working up until the day he left for the Pro Bowl, so don’t expect Cam to have a sophmore slump with the amount of work he’s willing to put in.
The Panthers defensive improvements this offseason should help Cam get the ball back more often this year, and will probably improve his efficiency, because the Panthers will play less games playing from behind at the end. This will help Cam get more yards per throw and probably fewer interceptions than last year as well.
The coaching staff Cam has behind him is top notch; head coach Ron Rivera in particular did a phenomenal job last year with his rookie quarterback and Rivera’s coaching additions of Steve Wilks and Richard Rodgers will make the Panthers more solid in the secondary and special teams.
Cam will not have a sophmore slump. That does not mean, however that he will definitely throw for more yards or touchdowns than last year, but he will have a more efficient year and the Panthers will win more games. Fortunately, winning is the main thing Cam cares about.