Turner won't take away Cam Newton's 'threat to run'


The Panthers are handing over their offense to newly hired play-caller Norv Turner. What does that mean for Cam Newton?

Carolina's star quarterback is coming off a campaign that saw him operate as a comprehensive mixed bag. Newton was one of the worst passers league-wide on third down, yet devastated teams on the ground while setting a new career-high with 754 yards rushing.

That monster production was somewhat surprising after the Panthers talked all offseason about doing more to protect Newton.

Will Turner flip the script in 2018?

The play-caller on Wednesday called Cam an "incredible" runner, noting that Newton's "designed runs" present a dire threat to the enemy.

"Defenses, they're really bothered by that," Turner said, per the team's official site. "He's always got to have that as part of his game. He's always got to have the threat to run. Depending on who we're playing, how we're playing and things that are going, I think it's always going to be a part of what we do."

As for Newton's handiwork through the air, the Panthers passer was hurt by a lack of weapons around him, especially after Carolina traded away wideout Kelvin Benjamin.

"When a guy's played as much as Cam, I think one of the things that really helps him improve is getting all the people around him playing at a high level," Turner said. "So I think there's some technique things that we'll zero in on with Cam, and there will be a major emphasis on the details of the route running, the style of routes and do things where we can do as much to help Cam and help him get the ball out quicker. That helps the protection. That helps everybody."

Said Turner: "I like to think we have the ability to be a high-percentage passing team too, and obviously the ultimate is to be successful on third down so you can keep the ball. But I think you have to stretch defenses. You have to have the ability to threaten them deep to make them play the entire field."

Turner has worked with a laundry list of household names under center, including Troy Aikman, Bernie Kosar, Trent Green, Jeff Hostetler, Jeff George, Doug Flutie, Drew Brees, Kerry Collins, Rich Gannon, Alex Smith, Trent Dilfer, Philip Rivers and Teddy Bridgewater.

None of those guys are quite the same as Cam Newton, though, because Cam Newton is a completely original offering under center. If he doesn't boast perfection through the air, his dominating ability to pound teams on the ground is a major part of what Carolina can do on offense.

After breaking down the tape, Turner doesn't sound ready to jump ship on Cam's juiciest strength.