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Ron Rivera: Cam Newton looks good throwing again


Panthers quarterback Cam Newton underwent rotator cuff surgery just four months ago, so it's not a surprise that his first throws during a live team practice received mixed reviews all around.

"I thought Cam looked very good," Panthers coach Ron Rivera said, via "He looked a little rusty early on. His timing was off a little bit. But as he practiced more you could see he started to get comfortable back there.

"We do have him on a pitch count, obviously. He was a couple of throws under it, but he looked good."

Added Newton: "Another step in the process. It's a start. Everything felt good, but we have a long way to go to get where I know we can be. Tonight was just fun getting out on the grass in front of the fans and throwing it around a little bit."

NFL Network's Tiffany Blackmon, on the scene in Carolina, noted that Rivera repeated the word "rusty" in reference to Newton's timing but was largely pleased with the effort. On a personal level, Rivera thought Newton was as light and energetic as usual.

It's pretty incredible to see Newton back on the field this soon after surgery. The rust Rivera is speaking of should wear off quickly given Newton's command of the offense and tenured relationship with most of his top targets. The addition of rookie Christian McCaffrey will, in the long term, allow Newton to capitalize more on short, less strenuous throws anyway.

However, it will be an interesting summer for quarterbacks recovering from serious offseason surgery. Colts quarterback Andrew Luck will start training camp on the physically unable to perform list with the ultimate hope being a Week 1 debut. Luck's surgery was more serious than Newton's, though he'll have far less time to knock off the rust we're hearing about in Carolina now.