Panthers coach Ron Rivera says team must protect Cam Newton moving forward
The Carolina Panthers have a number of voids to fill on their roster this offseason. It appears head coach Ron Rivera’s main priority will be surrounding quarterback Cam Newton with as much help as possible.
The Panthers would like to acquire more playmakers on offense. However, Rivera said during an appearance on ESPN’s First Take fortifying Newton’s protection will be first on their to-do list:
“But also we’ll look at playmakers,” Rivera said. “We’ll look at guys that when the ball gets in their hands, they take the pressure off the quarterback. Whether it be a runner, a receiver, a tight end … We’re going forward knowing that we’ve got to do things to make our team better, and first and foremost is we’ve got to protect the quarterback and put playmakers around him.”
Rivera’s comments are hardly surprising. It is no secret that Newton is coming off a grueling 2018 campaign due to injury. His lingering shoulder issue has raised speculation regarding his status for the 2019 NFL season. Regardless, it seems Carolina will continue to build around him moving forward.
The Panthers have made quite the investment in their offense as of late. They experienced a bit of a resurgence under offensive coordinator Norv Turner this season after committing their last two first-round picks to running back Christian McCaffrey and wide receiver D.J. Moore. Their approach has already started to pay dividends with both players establishing integral roles on offense. It is clear that Rivera has no problem with giving Turner more weapons to utilize.