This very cool picture was submitted to me by loyal reader Darren Bolick -- he shot it Saturday night with his iPhone after the Panthers-Giants preseason game. That's one of the six Panther statues surrounding Bank of America stadium in the foreground, of course, and the Duke Energy Center (which can produce all sorts of spectacular light shows) doing its Panther-blue thing in the back. The moon adds a surreal quality, don't you think?(Photo by Darren Bolick)
While you glance at that striking photo one more time, here's my take on the Cam Newton-Jimmy Clausen debate:
My colleague Tom Sorensen advocates in today's newspaper the naming of Cam Newton as the Panthers' starter, beginning Friday night in the preseason game at Miami and continuing into the indefinite future.
While I don't entirely disagree with Tom -- he and I both advocated Newton being picked No.1 in April and both believe he's the future of the franchise -- I wonder if Cam is really ready. (Newton will indeed start against Miami Friday, coach Ron Rivera said Wednesday, but beyond that there's no telling as of yet).
So, back to Tom's theory of all Cam, all the time from now on: One preseason game as the backup and that's it? Really? That's not exactly a lot of dues. And that 8-for-19, no-TD passing performance was OK, but hardly the type that vaults you into the clear No.1 role.
There are alternatives. Jimmy Clausen is not nearly as athletic as Newton, but does throw the ball more accurately when he has time (when he doesn't, he still looks jittery). Derek Anderson actually knows the offense the best of the three and probably could do a decent job as a game manager-type of QB.
So while I do think Newton should start and play the majority of the season, I'm fine with Ron Rivera taking his time on this decision for a little while longer. I advocated the "alternate the QBs as starters for the first two weeks of preseason and see what you've got after that" idea in this blog a couple of weeks ago and still espouse it.
It's only a matter of time until Cam is The Man, but is the time really up already?