Cam Newton – The Best Rookie to Ever Play?
“With the 1st pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers, select Cam Newton, Quarterback, Auburn.” The legacy was born
A uniquely gifted quarterback, who possesses both passing and rushing skills was drafted into the league by its then bottom-dwellers, the Carolina Panthers.
Cam Newton was sensational during his only year at Auburn, which only some football fans may know about. Prior to Auburn, Cam Newton was a back-up quarterback at Florida. He was second string, to the eventual Heisman winner, and probably the most controversial quarterback known to man, Tim Tebow. After two years at Florida, and a short stint at Blinn Junior College, Mr. Newton made his way to Auburn where he would go on to win a National championship, and a Heisman trophy, just as Tim Tebow did. He ended the year passing for a total of 2,854 yards and 30 touchdowns, all the while running for 1,473 yards and 20 touchdowns. As one can tell, he was quite the dynamic player.
But not all was swell for SuperCam. When he declared for the 2011 NFL draft, many critics believed that Cam was not accurate enough, and that he would be a bust-worthy candidate in the league. Many thought he would rely on his legs too often, and that it would get him into trouble at times. But Cam, just like his believers predicted, did not comply with these critics. Not one bit.
After relaxing his nerves during the preseason games, Cam began his regular season career with 422 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 18 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. What a start! And he wasn’t done there; the following week Cam broke his own rookie passing yards in a game record by accounting for 432 passing yards against Green Bay. At the end of the year, Cam amassed 4,051 passing yards (record-breaking), 21 passing touchdowns, 706 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns (record-breaking). He also holds the record for most total touchdowns by a rookie with 35, and is the first player in NFL history to record 4,000+ passing yards and 500+ rushing yards. Clearly, Cam Newton is quite the athlete.
Due to the fact that he reached the end zone on so many occasions, Cam released a touchdown dance that became quite famous (or infamous, depending where your loyalties lie) and caused him to receive the nickname “SuperCam”. After scoring a touchdown, he pretended to rip his shirt open just as Clark Kent does when he becomes Superman. This “dance” would reach the NBA level where Dwayne Wade and LeBron James would mimic the shirt rip, while Cam was in attendance as a sign of respect for all that Cam has done.
Unfortunately, Carolina finished with the sub-par record of 6-10 and finished third in the NFC South, below the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons. Barring a few critical injuries, this team is composed of many great players that could make a Super Bowl run in the future. But do remember, the Panthers’ record does not take away from what Cam accomplished. His statistics could very well make him the Rookie of the Year. But is that all? I don’t believe so; I think Cam Newton is the best rookie of all-time.
…and that is the last word.