Cam Newton to Avoid Sophomore Slump

After meeting expectations in his rookie year, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton will now have to face the dreaded sophomore slump this season.

But first, take a step back and look at Newton’s rookie season. It was a great one.

He was the league’s Offensive Rookie of the Year with his more than 4,000 passing yards with 21 touchdowns. Newton also rushed for 706 yards (No. 26 in the league) with 14 touchdowns; this was the second-highest number in the NFL and the highest ever for a quarterback, according to NFL.com.

Fortunately Panthers head coach Ron Rivera thinks Newton will avoid a bad second season. He said to Charlotteobserver.com of Newton, “I will say this about a sophomore slump -– if there’s anybody that’s going (to) work through it, he’s going to work through it. “When the season was over, one of the things he said was he wanted to find a way to make sure he didn’t have one. I think the less we talk about it, the less we get caught up in it, the better.

“It’s like the Madden curse, he really wanted to be the cover. I think that’s the thing. Instead of running from it, saying, ‘Oh, I hope it doesn’t happen — it’s not going to happen. I’m not going to let it happen.’ I think that’s his approach to the sophomore slump.”

Daniel Happy to Step In for Brees

With Drew Brees’ expected absence for this week’s OTAs, back up quarterback Chase Daniel is happy to pinch hit in drills. But he was honest that he’d rather have Brees at the helm.

Daniel said to The Associated Press via NFL.com, “First and foremost, we miss Drew. This whole team, the community, the fans, everybody misses Drew, but we also realize right now we have to move on without him. Is a deal going to get done? Yes, I have faith. But right now it’s a great opportunity for myself to go in, show the type of skills I’ve (gained) … and really earn the trust of the guys.”

The quarterback is enjoying the attention but is looking for the team to return to business as usual with Brees. He did say of the present, “I’m looking forward to it. Obviously, Drew runs the ship. I’m just here to get ready.”

The Saints drafted Daniel in 2009 after the Washington Redskins waived him as a undrafted free agent.