Streeter Lecka/GettyCam Newton has been working with the same coaches for several years.Cam Newton was the best quarterback in the NFL this season, throwing a career-high 35 touchdowns, a career-low 10 interceptions, while helping the Panthers to a 15-1 record.
Now, he has a chance to cap it off by winning the Super Bowl and likely earning MVP for the season.
One of the more stunning aspects of Newton’s breakout season is that nobody really saw it coming. While Newton had been a good quarterback throughout his career, his sudden rise caught the NFL world by surprise.
Ken Dorsey, the Panthers quarterback coach, has a simple explanation for Newton’s breakout season: consistency.
“A lot of it is just reps. You look at Cam, he had the one year at junior college and the one year at Auburn, so it’s not like he’s ever been a four-year starter.
“The more reps he gets, the more comfortable he gets. That’s the same with everybody, Tom Brady or Peyton Manning, anybody. The more comfortable you get seeing things, the more you can just react.”
It’s a simple explanation, but one that gets overlooked, particularly in the NFL, where coaching changes occur frequently.
Head coach Ron Rivera echoed Dorsey’s sentiment, adding, “I think it’s very huge. You can also throw Ken Dorsey into that mix [of coaches] as well. All of us have really grown together for a period of time. You can’t really develop that kind of relationship of trust until you’ve been around each other for a while.”
Dorsey has been the Panthers quarterback coach since 2013 while Rivera and offensive coordinator Mike Shula have been with the Panthers since 2011. That kind of stability is important for quarterbacks as they form relationships with the coaches and can tinker with their systems until they get to a point where everyone is comfortable.
The Panthers certainly don’t figure to make any big changes after such a successful season, and Cam will only further benefit from it.