With quarterback Cam Newton at the helm, the Panthers have opened two consecutive seasons with a 2-8 record. Carolina finished strong both years (4-2 down the stretch in 2011, and 5-1 in 2012), but Newton's 13-19 record as a starter is on the radar.
Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman brought it up Tuesday.
"Cam has had the best two years of any rookie quarterback in NFL history," Gettleman said. "And everybody talks about the other young (quarterbacks)," Gettleman said Tuesday, per The Charlotte Observer. "What he's done has been completely lost in the sauce because of the elephant in the room -- the 13-19 record."
Gettleman's just being honest. Newton was the center of attention last offseason, but his outrageous physical gifts were overshadowed in 2012 by a flock of upstarts: Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick and Andrew Luck all guided their teams to the postseason; "Ace Boogie" did not.
Asked if Newton remains the right guy to build around, Gettleman -- following "a pregnant, seven-second pause," per The Observer -- answered: "Yes, he is. But now it's time to win."
Gettleman knows better than anyone that Carolina is littered with holes on both side of the ball. Newton is on the weakest team of any of the passers mentioned above, but entering his third year, the heat -- officially -- is on.