Buckling Up For Cam NewtonSeptember 5th, 2014
Yes, yesterday Stinking Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was limited (again) in practice due to his cracked ribs. Speaking to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Newton admitted he is not (yet) locked in to start Sunday’s season opener against the Bucs in the Stadium on Dale Mabry Highway.
It seems Bucs defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier has smelled a rouse before in football and he’s not biting on the bait.
While fans are rubbing their rabbits’ feet (is that proper grammar?), among other things, with the hope Newton will watch the game from the Stinking Panthers’ bench, Frazier believes the opposite will happen.
“Well, we’re going to prepare as if he’s 100 percent, that’s how we’re approaching it,” Frazier said in his weekly press conference yesterday. “He’s a tough guy, he’s proven that over the course of his career in the league and that’s how we’re approaching it. He’s going to be 100 percent and he’s going to be out there playing as reckless as he always has. We’ll see how it goes on Sunday.
“Lovie and I both have talked, about from our experiences, going against their offense that hasn’t changed that much over the last two or three years. There are some things that we will try and do different and try and be little bit better at. They do such a great job of running the football, you’ve got to find a way to defend their run game, along with the fact that they’re so good on third downs and finding a way to get them in longer third down situations. They were fourth in the league a year ago in that area. We just talked about Cam and all of the things that he does. Even when you feel like you’ve gotten a pretty good pass rush doesn’t necessarily mean you can get him on the ground. We’re going to try some things that we hope will help us, but they’ve proven that they can get it done and be very efficient with their offense.”
Joe can’t really quibble with Frazier. It would be stupid to believe the hype that Newton won’t play — until the Stinking Panthers take the field and Newton is not with the offense.
Just imagine, however, if Newton can’t go? Talk about turning a one-dimensional offense into a no-dimensional offense. You don’t think Gerald McCoy was staring at the ceiling last night, if only for a brief while, dreaming of Derek Anderson lining up behind center when he steps up to the line of scrimmage?
If Newton can’t go, Joe has a feeling GMC is going to put the fear of God into Anderson several times Sunday afternoon.