3 takeaways from Cam Newton's morning throwing session for Panthers
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3 takeaways from Cam Newton’s morning throwing session for Panthers

It felt like this day may never come for most Carolina Panthers fans, but on Tuesday morning quarterback Cam Newton threw in an open media veteran mini-camp session for the first time since his offseason shoulder surgery. The Panthers social media team was able to live stream this throwing session on several platforms where a multitude of fans tuned in to see how much better Newton’s arm looked.

We have three takeaways, but feel free to check out the video yourself below:

3. His throwing motion has changed

What really stood out to me watching Newton throw again was the stark contrast in the elongation of his throwing motion. Newton is akin to really winding up his throws and rely more on upper body strength than anything. It looks like coaches have adjusted Cam’s release point and windup, keeping his elbow in rather than letting it stray and put more stress on his shoulder.

A more compact throwing motion (and depending more on torso flipping and lower body strength to deliver throws) could really help Newton with his short field accuracy. However, changing his throwing motion this late in his career has to be extremely difficult. Most alarmingly in the department of muscle memory. Will Cam’s old habits kick back in during high pressure in-game situations? It’s impossible to tell now, but we should learn a lot more when the pads come on.

2. The Panthers will bring him back slowly

Something else that stood out during this practice was the lightness of the throwing activities. The Panthers were not asking Newton to make throws much further than 8-12 yards down the field throughout the session. This should be welcome news to Carolina fans.

The last thing the Panthers want to do is rush this process and re-aggravate their franchise quarterback’s shoulder injury. Since being drafted, the Panthers have gone as Newton has gone. They can’t afford to lose him and expect to contend for a title, much less make the playoffs.

I, for one, will not allow myself to believe that he is fully healed until I see Newton laser a frozen rope 30-40 yards downfield to a receiver in stride. We may be weeks, even months, from seeing this unfold. It seems the Panthers may have taken a page out of the Philadelphia 76ers book. Trust the process.

1. Cam Newton is still the leader of this team

If you watched this practice you can tell Cam Newton has a presence about him at practice. Approachable, yet untouchable. Goofy and lighthearted, yet laser-focused. These are the traits of a true leader in professional sports.

Newton seems to have a connection with every teammate and coach that he passes and brings an infectious energy along with him. This is Cam Newton’s football team, make no bones about it. If there was ever a question of respect and camaraderie between Newton and his teammates, the answer was here. Newton has brought so much to this city, his fans, and all who have worked alongside him. He’s been the lifeblood of the organization since they called his name on draft day, and it really doesn’t feel like this will be changing anytime soon.

Apologies to Will Grier, but Cameron Jerrell Newton is back in the saddle.