Originally posted on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 10/11/12
Panthers head coach Ron Rivera thinks Cam Newton is trying too hard to make the big play downfield instead of taking what the defense gives him.

“I think he’s pressing, personally I do. He wants to make things happen so much,” Rivera told the Charlotte Observer on Monday. “He’s trying very hard to do those things, do the right things. It’s all part of him developing as a football player.”


Newton, who finished 12-for-29 passing for 141 yards against the Seahawks on Sunday, often locked in on Steve Smith running deep routes and failed to even look for any other open receivers.

The box score tells the story.

Smith was targeted 13 times – nine more than any other player. Next on the list was Jonathan Stewart – a running back – with four targets. Wide receiver Brandon LaFell and tight end Greg Olsen were each targeted just three times, while Louis Murphy had the ball thrown his way just twice.

Throwing nearly half of his passes to No. 89 wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing if they resulted in completions. Smith, however, caught just four of those 13 passes for a total of 40 yards.

Both Rivera and offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinksi admitted to the Charlotte Observer that Newton sometimes failed to find his secondary options.

“Most of the opportunities were there and the coverages were such that we felt pretty good about getting the ball to Steve,” Chudzinski said. “A couple of times he did lock into Steve and he could have been somewhere else.”

“I think Cam was trying to get the ball downfield too far," Rivera added. "You look at some of the things that happened where he hit Brandon LaFell underneath on the short cross. When you see those opportunities those are the ones you have to take. As he continues to develop in this offense he’ll be able to understand those are some of the options he has.”


He better learn fast.

The Panthers are one loss away from 1-5 and complete irrelevance less than halfway through the season.

How many more losing seasons can we withstand?



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