When Derek Anderson joined the Carolina Panthers in 2011, it was a great signing for the Panthers because that was the same year the team selected Cam Newton with the No. 1 overall pick. Anderson has served as Newton’s mentor, teammate and friend, while also being one of the best backup quarterbacks in the NFL. It shows what kind of relationship these two players have that Anderson was willing to sign a two-year extension with the Panthers through 2017 despite having opportunities to pursue starting jobs elsewhere.
— David Newton (@DNewtonespn) September 2, 2015
In a perfect world, the backup quarterback for a NFL team will never see the field because that means the starter has been able to remain healthy, and the team isn’t involved in too many blowouts. But there’s something to be said for having a quarterback who knows the offense and has the ability to perform at a high level if his number is called upon. The Panthers have that in Anderson, who stepped in and won two games last season, as Newton missed the first two games of his career due to separate injuries.
If Newton were to ever suffer a serious injury where he would have to miss an extended period of time, the Panthers would still be competitive, as Anderson can step in and run this offense admirably. The majority of the teams in the NFL would be up a creek without a paddle if the franchise quarterback were to suffer an injury. That’s a testament to Anderson’s work ethic and professionalism.
Although Newton is built like a tank and rarely gets hurt, the Panthers are prepared in case of emergency thanks to Anderson.