Tonight at Sun Life stadium, the Carolina Panthers look to take the next step in their matchup with the Miami Dolphins. The 7:30 pm EST clash will be between two teams that believe they are just a quarterback away from making a splash in the league.
The Panthers’ position battle features last year’s second-round pick Jimmy Clausen and this year’s first overall pick Cam Newton.
Clausen was thrown into the fire last season after Matt Moore struggled, and he played like a rookie. He was not ready in the slightest and is now in the fight of his career.
All eyes will be on Newton, a Heisman winner and BCS National Championship title holder. His 6’5” 250-pound frame makes him a mouth-watering prospect.
Newton has impressed since the unofficial practices earlier this summer, where he—as confirmed by many teammates, including Jordan Gross—has done all the right things.
Last week against the New York Giants, Newton made his first appearance in a Panthers uniform. He was not overly accurate, but the presence on the field was undeniable.
He led two scoring drives and did not turn over the ball once. The one slight against him was that he faced the second-string while Clausen faced the Giants’ first string.
Now is Newton’s turn to show what he can do against a first-string defense, but he is not alone.
Clausen may have thrown a pick-six last week against New York, but he has also looked more seasoned and prepared compared to last year and will also have a chance to play with the first string.
Newton is in the spotlight now and it his time to start his path on becoming an icon. With Ron Rivera looking to announce his starting quarterback next week, Newton has been given the opportunity to start his reign as the Panthers franchise quarterback this week.
Look for constant updates on Newton’s progress as tonight may be the night he starts the next great era in Panthers history.
-- George Anderson