It may have taken three seasons, but Cam Newton has finally been named team captain in Carolina.
It’s common practice for QBs to be named team captain. At the end of training camp, players will vote on who the team leaders are. For the first two seasons of his career, Newton failed to get the support of his teammates.
Before practice Thursday, Panthers’ head coach Ron Rivera announced Newton was named captain. Newton and five other players will wear the “C” on their jerseys. The other captains are Luke Kuechly, Steve Smith, Ryan Kalil, Thomas Davis, and Jordan Gross.
Being named team captain was one of Cam Newton’s major goals this season. He wanted to prove his critics wrong. His first two seasons have been defined by a lack of maturity and leadership. In May, Newton told the Charlotte Observer:
“You’re holding yourself to a higher standard with being accountable. I’m going about it each and every day and trying to make that happen.”
Newton got what he wanted but still has a lot to prove. He set rookie records in 2011 while leading the Panthers to a 6-10 record. He regressed in 2012 and Carolina finished the season 7-9 thanks to a strong defense.
A lot is expected of Cam Newton and the Panthers in 2013. Year three is usually the make or break year for a QB. If he plays to his abilities, Carolina should be a playoff contender. All the talent is there.
If he does not show marked improvement, the Panthers might look to the draft for a replacement. There are a number of high profile QBs who could be available. Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater leads the class and is a front runner to win the Heisman.
A bad season in Carolina will likely cost Ron Rivera his job also.
Do you think Cam Newton should be a captain in Carolina this season? Will the Panthers make the playoffs in his third year?
[image via Mark Runyon | Pro Football Schedules]