Ron Rivera believes Cam Newton is too anxious to make plays deep downfield instead of opting for more intermediate routes, leading to some struggles for the Carolina Panthers offense.
Newton had a rough game on Sunday when the Panthers lost at home to the Seattle Seahawks 16-12. He was inaccurate, completing 11 of 29 passes for 141 yards, and was forcing throws much of the game.
“I think he’s pressing,” Rivera said, according to Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer. “He wants to make things happen so much. He’s trying very hard to do those things, do the right things. It’s all part of him developing as a football player.
“It’s not just to advance the ball quickly. But it’s to work the different levels, different options and different combinations that are there. They take this away, come down and get this. I think sometimes he holds it a little bit. He’s waiting for that guy to clear, and sometimes it’s too late.”
Carolina’s passing game is based on forcing the ball downfield but Newton probably needs to be a little more conservative. If defenses are taking away the deep ball, there are going to be openings underneath. Complete a handful of those and the opposition will have to adjust.
“Our offense is designed to throw the football down field, but it’s on me as the quarterback to manage this football game,” Newton said, per the report. “Even though the shots weren’t there downfield I have to be accurate in throwing the ball underneath and throwing the ball to the checkdowns, and that didn’t happen.”
Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs
Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune