“It was just a personal goal that I set for myself. I’m not going to go into what it really meant because looking at my body from afar you really couldn’t tell. Being that I lost the weight, nobody really could tell, either. It’s just me challenging myself to have an edge going into the season.”
Newton’s weight loss is an interesting decision as it would seem that his size and the ability to absorb contact are his strengths. Offensive coordinators have a dilemma when it comes to running quarterbacks. How much is too much? In the Panthers’ case, they got away from a standard NFL offense too often last year. The read option should be a wrinkle rather than a foundational piece of an NFL offense.
Besides stunting Newton’s growth as a passer, reliance on Newton’s athleticism hurts the Panthers’ running game. Running backs who succeed in a spread offense are usually scatback types, and Carolina didn’t have that type of back on the roster last year. The addition of rookie running back, Kenjon Barner will give Newton another weapon in the backfield. The Panthers need to get back to a traditional running game which will take some of the pressure off of Newton.
Newton finds himself at a crossroads; a disappointing season could mean the end of the current coaching regime. If the Panthers are to make the playoffs, it will be on the back of their superstar quarterback. It’s good to see that he’s taking steps to improve himself.