User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Soccer
Boxing/MMA
Horses
More
Betting Tools

 
Rivera: Struggling Panthers' QB Newton 'pressing'

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Quarterback Cam Newton heads into the bye week of his second NFL season searching for answers and the Carolina Panthers off to a slow 1-4 start.

Advertisement
Coach Ron Rivera said Monday his 23-year-old QB is pressing.

Rivera believes Newton, last year's AP offensive rookie of the year, is trying too hard to make big plays and needs to concentrate more on taking what opposing defenses are willing to give him.

``He wants to make things happen so much. . It's all part of him developing as a football player,'' Rivera said.

The 6-foot-5, 245-pound Newton struggled again during Sunday's 16-12 loss to Seattle. Newton was sacked four times and completed just 12 of 29 passes for 141 yards as the offense failed to produce a touchdown.

``I have to be accurate throwing the ball and the check downs and that didn't happen'' Sunday, Newton, who did not speak to the media Monday, said after the loss to the Seahawks. ``To a degree, I'm kind of embarrassed, you know? But things are going to get better.''

His disappointing stats have almost nowhere to go but up.

Newton has thrown five interceptions and just four touchdown passes. He has rushed for three touchdowns but also has fumbled five times, equaling his total from last season.

There are 21 starting quarterbacks in the NFL with a higher pass completion percentage. Looking at the numbers, it's no surprise Newton has struggled badly at times to help the Panthers put points on the board.

Rivera said defenses have adjusted to Newton and the Panthers' style of offense, which means Newton sometimes must go for shorter pass completions rather than attempting to force the ball down the field.

``There are some things teams are doing to take certain things that we do with our passing game,'' Rivera said. ``We've got to be able to go from what we're doing, what we're seeing, and react to that and then make plays accordingly. I think we have that ability in this offense, when you look at the different routes that we run, the combinations that are out there. If they take certain things away, we've got to go somewhere else and use those options.

``We haven't been successful doing that. But we can be, because it's there. It's within what we do.''

Against the Seahawks, Rivera said Newton may have tried to force the ball to wide receiver Steve Smith too often. The coach said there were times when Newton had other wide receivers, or tight end Greg Olsen, open on routes underneath the Seattle pass coverage, but failed to get the ball to them.

``I think Cam was trying to get the ball downfield too far,'' Rivera said. ``If you look at some of the things that happened, there was one play where he had (wide receiver) Brandon LeFell underneath on the short cross. When you see those opportunities, those are ones you have to take.

``I think as he continues to develop in this offense, he'll begin to understand those are some of the options that he has.''

Smith said Newton will be fine.

``Quarterbacks get all the credit when you win and all the blame when you lose. It's always been that way,'' Smith said. ``People forget that even Tom Brady started out on the bench. It takes time to find that tricky balance for your offense, and a season is like a journey. There are going to be some potholes and flat tires along the way.''

In Sunday's loss to the Seahawks, Newton also badly missed on a potential game-winning touchdown pass to backup tight end Ben Hartsock, Tge tight end was wide open in the end zone on a fourth-and-goal play from the Seattle 1-yard line on the Panthers' next-to-last possession.

Now Newton and the rest of the Panthers will have the bye week to figure out if they can salvage their season.

``We're a chunk team, a big-play offense,'' Olsen said. ``And when we're on, we can light it up. We just need to learn sometimes to maybe be a little more patient. All of us.

``It's not always going to be a home-run ball. Sometimes we've just got to take what's there and keep the chains moving.''

Rivera said he believes that Newton will be able to find the rhythm that enabled the young quarterback to produce a combined 35 touchdowns last season (21 passing, 14 rushing) while throwing for more than 4,000 yards. The coach also pointed out that there have been periods this season where Newton has looked like the same quarterback he was a year ago.

``He's had his moments,'' Rivera said. ``To sit here and give him a grade would be unfair, because you've got to take it, in my opinion, by game. To look at some of the games, some of the things he's done really, really well and some of them he hasn't done as well as he's capable.

``We'll just keep coaching him and expressing to him the things we need him to do to be successful.''

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Lawrence: Inside the Stats - Week 13
Marshall: Tech Trends - Week 13
Nelson: Close Calls - Week 12
Sportsbook: Seahawks, 49ers battle
Simo: Teasers hurt Books
News: Win Total Update
News: Betting Recap - Week 12
Bills to host Browns despite stadium issue
Goodell, Smith meet on personal conduct
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NFL Pro Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NFL Hot Streaks
12-2 Thurs, 21-7 G-Plays, +1,774
19-8 L27, 24-10 L34, 29-12 L41
9-1 L4 Sundays, 7-0 L7 G-Plays
11-3 L8 Sundays, 19-6 Win Streak
11-4 L3 Sundays, 16-9 L25 Picks
16-8 Last 24 Guarantees
12-5 L17 Guaranteed Plays
9-3 L12 Over/Under Plays
8-4 Last 12 Selections
6-3 Last 9 NFL Picks
13-5 Guaranteed Plays TY
9-3 Totals This Year
4-2 Sun., 13-6 L3 Sundays, 14-6 Run
4-0 Sunday, 13-7 L20 Guarantees
4-1 Sunday, 5-1 L6, 13-6 L19
3-1 Monday, 7-3 L10 Totals
NFL Pro Football Expert Sports Picks- Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys
2014 NFL SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 1774
Antony Dinero + 1085
Doc's Sports + 847
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Pat Hawkins + 400
Marc Lawrence + 390
Andy Iskoe + 280
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Doc's Sports 63 %
Scott Pritchard 58 %
Bruce Marshall 58 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 1525
Mike Rose + 745
Kyle Hunter + 653
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 1065
Antony Dinero + 1040
The Gold Sheet + 770
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 794
ASA + 780
The Gold Sheet + 676
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Daily Fantasy NFL Perfect Lineup Contest