Originally Posted by Texecutioner
I am not high on Geno Smith and I wasn't high at all on Cam Newton either. We talked about Cam a lot before the draft if you remember. Cam shocked a lot of people in his rookie season and actually threw the ball pretty well, but a lot of his personality issues started rising up last season when the team struggled and he looked more like the rookie I expected him to look like his first season. It was almost like his first and second season went backwards. I don't think Cam will end up being that great of a QB. I think he'll be a very high and low type of QB that looks amazing at times, but never does it with long term consistency.
Geno Smith is only as highly touted as he is right now because it isn't really a good QB draft. Someone has to be high up there, and it's a good year for him to be coming out.
I'm not high on Smith either; though I think he will be OK.
To me, Cam's second season is roughly the same as his first.
He had fewer attempts and ended up with something like 10 or 12 yards fewer per game as a result, but his YPA, AYPA numbers actually improved.
His TD/INT ratio got better; his QB rating remained roughly the same.
Seven of their 9 losses were by 6 or fewer; if you follow the Panthers' MB, people would tell you that it was because the Panthers were unable to run out the clock. If you look up the stats, you would see that their running game (besides Newton) took a big hit. Football Outsiders, for example, had their line ranked at 30th in run blocking (down from 5th the previous year.)
Also, from their MB, I found the followings:
"I do agree that Cam needs to improve, needs to work on certain aspects of his game (but hey, who doesn't?), but it's not fair to put everything on Cam's shoulders. Other players need to step up, and help him out too. He was terrific his first season, great his second, and will be even better his third."
"Our defense made a lot of strides last year, but it struggled in late game situations. And yet despite that we were essentially two hail marys and a Smitty slip from probably being 10-6"
"cam does need to improve and he's got room for it because the sky is the limit and as good as he is, he's just going to get better...he's still really early into a long career that he's several years away from peaking. but he's not the reason for the losing season."
The Panthers drafted mostly defense last year, with the exception of a Guard in the second round (from Div II) and a receiver in the fourth round who had a total of one catch (he was used on ST mostly).
They didn't have a replacement for Nene (who was never any good to begin with).
Their fans want them to draft O-line and WR early this year, even though the Panthers just signed a FA (Hixon, whom some people on this board would like to see the Texans brought in.)
Their O-line was also banged up like ours.
How good a QB do I think Newton can become?
It depends a lot on the player himself.
Even great players like Montana, Young, and Aikman still had to improve year-to-year.
I'm not even guaranteeing that he will be great, because you don't know about the other young guys that might surpass him.
But basically, I can see that he will probably be in the top ten of the QBs of his generation.
Whether he will be in the conversation of the top five depends on him as well as the caliber of the other guys.