Cam Newton's play has 'no consistency,' Cosell says

  • By Marc Sessler
  • Around the League Writer
  • Published: Sept. 20, 2013 at 03:11 p.m.
  • Updated: Sept. 20, 2013 at 03:38 p.m.

The early-season game tape on Cam Newton is far from precious.
In Sunday's loss to the Buffalo Bills, we saw the Carolina Panthers quarterback finally test the field deep, but his 21-of-38 showing was littered with overthrows and missed connections, an offshoot of his spotty mechanics.

Panthers receiver Steve Smith suggested this week that Newton is "pressing," and NFL Films guru Greg Cosell sees a young passer still learning to play the position.

"He does not throw the ball with consistency. There's very little refinement to his game. He's just a big man with a strong arm," Cosell said on this week's Podcast.
Newton's arm was kept under wraps in a season opening loss to the Seahawks. He threw just three passes over 10 yards against Seattle, but made up for it against the Bills, pegging Ted Ginn deep on a 40-yard touchdown pass. The moment itself felt like Cam unbottled, but he also overthrew the super-fast receiver on a separate attempt. Hot and cold, always.
"You know, every once in a while, he teases with his arm talent, but there's no consistency to his play," Cosell said. "And there's two things that you need ... No. 1, he's very erratic with his accuracy and, No. 2, he does not see the field well. And it's really hard to be a quality NFL quarterback when you're lacking
those two things."

Asked repeatedly on the taping -- on behalf of agitated fantasy football drones -- why Newton's rushing attempts have dried up, Cosell said: "The running is great, but, sooner or later, you can't be a high-level NFL quarterback without throwing the ball with consistency. This is not a fantasy issue, this is just football."
Newton's physical gifts are certain, but his early-season play has been a mixed bag. It's clear the Panthers are digging in under Shula to determine if their young quarterback can play the role of a traditional pocket passer. Through two games, that experiment has not gone according to plan.