Training camp is almost upon us (woo!!!) and as such, we are beginning our training camp positional previews for the Carolina Panthers. These posts will each give a brief overview of what story lines to look for at each position during training camp.
We get things started off at the most important position in football — quarterback. There isn’t really an interesting competition here. Cam Newton is the starter without question and veteran Derek Anderson is the backup without question. While that may not make for more entertaining stories, that stability is great for Ron Rivera and company.
The big storyline to follow will be how Newton looks in the wake of his offseason ankle surgery. There hasn’t been any indication that it will affect him too much but he has been somewhat sporadic when throwing to receivers recently so it could be an issue. Regardless of his ankle, Newton will have to develop a quick chemistry with his all new receiving corps of Jerricho Cotchery, Jason Avant, Tiquan Underwood, and the highly touted rookie Kelvin Benjamin. If he can’t, then he’ll likely continue to display the inconsistency that caused a group of NFL insiders to call him merely average.
Another smaller storyline to watch will be how the coaching staff uses Joe Webb. Webb is an athletic freak at the quarterback position and even saw some snaps as a wide receiver when he played for the Minnesota Vikings. The organization insists that he was signed as a quarterback, but that doesn’t mean he can’t come in certain situations a provide a different look. As the coaching staff tries to balance having a dynamic offense with trying to limit the hits Cam takes, supplementing Webb for some of those designed runs could be a way to do that.