Everyone who’s ever seen Cam Newton play knows that he is special. He was special at Blinn College when he went undefeated and won an NJCAA title. He was special at Auburn when he was again undefeated, winning the BCS National Championship and a Heisman Trophy. He was special when he was drafted No. 1 overall by the Carolina Panthers, going on to break numerous rookie and all-time records and win the Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
Newton has potential that many players can only dream about, incredible size and athleticism at the quarterback position, and a rocket arm to go with.
Recently, however, Newton hasn’t seemed quite as special. While his rookie season was filled with eye-popping statistics, those statistics failed to translate into wins, and the fans and pundits were looking for that to change in year two. But Newton again failed to break .500, not to mention seeing a dip in stats, with his inability to win close games at the forefront of his ineptitude. Along with the sophomore slump, a new wave of rookie quarterbacks began to take over the NFL, not only putting up big numbers but reeling in wins as well. Newton was soon forgotten for the flavor of the week, labeled as a scrambler instead of a quarterback.
That was the past. The winds of change have blown in and started a hurricane, sending Charlotte and the rest of the Carolinas into a fervor. Newton has found new life in his third year, making smart decisions on the field and leading his team instead trying to do it on his own. As a result, he is on pace to break multiple personal records, including touchdown passes and completion percentage, and he also has the Panthers at 7-3 and on a six-game win streak.
While young players like Robert Griffin III and Colin Kaepernick are struggling, Newton is climbing up the ladder. And while he’s not the best young quarterback right now, he may be very soon.