Cam Newton To Start For Carolina Panthers On Friday Night

August 17, 2011 – 2:46 pm by Ryan Phillips

Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera has made his choice at quarterback for Friday night’s preseason game against the Miami Dolphins, and it isn’t Jimmy Clausen. Cam Newton, the No. 1 pick in April’s NFL Draft, will be under center to start the game and he should play for the entire first half.

Carolina started Clausen in its preseason opener against the New York Giants last Saturday, and he wasn’t terribly impressive. The Notre Dame product was 4-of-7 for 69 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Newton then entered the game and was 8-for-19 for 134 yards, with no touchdowns and no interceptions, while being sacked twice. So neither guy exactly solidified his position on the depth chart.

It makes sense that Rivera would give Newton a shot with the first team this week. If it is a true competition, he should be given the same opportunity Clausen had in the opener. Last week Newton entered in the second quarter and played into the fourth. Which means we can probably expect Clausen to get the majority of the playing time in the second half this week.

If Newton shows well against the Dolphins it’s a pretty good bet he’ll be the starter when the regular season rolls around. The Panthers took a risk selecting him with the top pick and sitting him for an extended period of time just doesn’t make sense. If you’re going to gamble on a guy at the top of the draft you need to go all-in.

This weekend’s preseason contest could be the first example of the Panthers fully adopting that philosophy.

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  1. 2 Responses to “Cam Newton To Start For Carolina Panthers On Friday Night”

  2. I watched part of the game Saturday night, and you’re right: neither was impressive at all. Although Jimmy did throw two touchdowns (the one the Giants defense scored counts, right?).

    It was kind of annoying listening to the Panthers fans boo whenever Clausen touched the ball, though. Not disheartening, because I don’t really care one way or the other, but after listening to the slack-jawed yokels on the call-in shows talking about how Newton was going to be the savior of the franchise for months, it just made me hate my in-state brethren that much more.

    By MJenks on Aug 17, 2011

  3. Yeah, booing the kid is a bit much, it’s not like he was playing at USC (although his performance would suggest otherwise). The whole Cam Newton hype thing from Carolina fans is pretty ridiculous. If my team had selected him I’d be so cautious. Maybe cautiously optimistic at best.

    By Ryan Phillips on Aug 17, 2011

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