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Greg Olsen: Count on Cam Newton's instincts kicking in

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One of the pressing questions heading into next week's season openers is what will we see from Cam Newton?

Coming off springtime rotator cuff surgery, the Panthers quarterback was kept in bubble wrap all summer and threw a whopping two passes during the preseason.

Newton barely worked with key rookies Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel, while failing to build chemistry with his wider arsenal of targets. If there's reason for concern, though, at least one teammate isn't fretting it.

"I think what people have to realize after so many years, so many reps and games, sometimes these things happen," Greg Olsen said of Newton missing time, per The Charlotte Observer.

Said Olsen: "I barely played at all in the preseason last year. Sometimes little things alter the plan. This is going to be [Newton's] seventh year in the league. He's seen a lot of things. He has a lot of experience, and you just kind of count on guys' instincts kicking in."

It's just one guy's opinion, but Olsen's matters more than most. He's worked closely with the quarterback since the minute Newton landed in Carolina, observing each other's habits and combining for hundreds of catches and thousands of yards.

Ultimately, it's less about the handful of preseason drives a healthy Newton would have led compared with all the practice time he forfeited. Olsen is correct to point out that a veteran will mesh into game-day form more quickly, but even coach Ron Rivera is unwilling to predict what we'll see from Newton against the Niners in Week 1.

"You really won't know until the opener," Rivera said this week. "That's just the way it is. Nobody knew what he was going to be like his rookie year. That's kind of how this is going to be."

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