Quarterback Cam Newton will make his third start of the season for the Carolina Panthers on Sunday with a new player in his ear.
During the team’s week off, Carolina coach Matt Rhule fired offensive coordinator Joe Brady and handed the tasks over to running backs coach Jeff Nixon.
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“Do I think I have something to do with this?” ” Newton said Thursday. âThe competitor in me absolutely yes, because the truth is, you don’t lose your job because of success. But where I am now is doing what I can control to make sure I have a job too. Letâs be honest.
Of the 32 NFL teams in 2021, the Carolina offense ranks 25th for points, 29th for yards, 30th for passing yards and 16th for rushing yards.
“It was something I felt from a football point of view we had to do now”, Rhule said. ââ¦ I felt it was the right decision, and it was just football. I think it was in our best interest for the future. I feel like we can play better in attack. It’s not about a person or a thing, but I felt like it was the best way to help us get things done offensively.
Brady has worked with three starting quarterbacks in 12 games this season. Sam Darnold started the first nine before coming away with a partial broken collarbone. PJ Walker was under center for Game 10, four days after the Panthers signed Newton.
Despite his lack of practice time with Carolina, Newton still played in Game 10 and helped the Panthers counter the Arizona Cardinals 30-13. The former Auburn All-American took nine snaps, ran for 14 yards and a touchdown in three carries and completed 3 of 4 passes for 8 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions in his opener of the 2021 season.
The following week, Newton went all the way in quarterback, completed 21 of 27 passes for 189 yards and two touchdowns without interceptions, and ran 10 times for 46 yards and one touchdown in a 27-21 loss. against the Washington football team on November 21.
But a week later, ignorance of Newton’s attack and lack of training time seemed to catch up with Carolina. In a 33-10 loss to the Miami Dolphins, Newton completed 5 of 21 passes for 92 yards without a touchdown and two interceptions and ran three times for 5 yards and a touchdown.
“There is no perfect scenario in life, let alone this league”, Newton said. “I knew what I was getting into on day one. We just have to come up with a better brand of football offensively, personally, and the last time we had the opportunity to do that I didn’t do it personally. , and I take responsibility for that.
Nixon’s first opportunity to call games in the NFL will come against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday at noon CST at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC.
Nixon is in his 12th season as an NFL assistant, but this is his first time as a coordinator. He worked as an offensive coordinator under Rhule at Baylor for three seasons.
“I am delighted to work with Cam” Nixon said. âHe’s someone I’ve admired for a long time. Coach in the NFL, he faced him several times. â¦ I enjoyed the time spent spending some more time with Cam who is now coordinating the attack.
Who’s on the Carolina coaching staff and which coach calls the parts isn’t something he should be concerned about, Newton said.
“I’m focusing right now on what I can control, and it’s just being ready to take on the Atlanta Falcons,” Newton said. “… It’s our job as players to come out and perform to the best of our ability and trust the plan, and I have a firm belief that harmony is the key, and do our job and hold on.” our market share is gonna be the main thing.
Carolina defeated Atlanta 19-13 on Oct. 31 with Darnold at quarterback. He had only 129 passing yards, but the Panthers rushed for 203 yards against the Falcons.
Both Carolina and Atlanta are 5-7, leaving them one game behind the San Francisco 49ers, who currently sit last in the NFC playoff field with five games left in the regular season. .
“As someone once told me, that counts for two” Newton said of the division game, “So this is a must win for us for more than one reason.”
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Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at @ AMarkG1.