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Cam Newton working to fix footwork, accuracy

Former Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor describes Cam Newton as a "mutant walking," for the Panthers quarterback's freakish combination of size, athletic gifts and seemingly indestructible frame.

Newton doesn't shy away from his exceptionalism, recently pointing out that "so much of my talents have not been seen in one person."

As NFL Media's Jeff Darlington writes, the face of the franchise is so talented, in fact, that he's gotten away with a fundamentally flawed delivery for four years.

Working with Newton to improve sloppy footwork, the coaching staff has seen tangible signs of improvement this offseason.

Coach Ron Rivera noted that Wednesday's practice was Newton's finest as a pro.

"He took some really big steps this year," Rivera said, via Darlington. "Let's not forget: He's a young man. He came into this league after playing just one year of college football. He wasn't as advanced as guys like Russell Wilson or Andrew Luck, who played three or four seasons."

It's a fair point. Newton is not a polished passer.

Since he entered the league in 2011, no other quarterback has thrown a higher percentage of off-target passes, per ESPN Stats and Information.

Although it's fair to question just how correctable that lack of accuracy is after four years and more than 2,000 pass attempts, the Panthers are encouraged by his progress over the past couple of months.

"(Quarterbacks coach Ken Dorsey and offensive coordinator Mike Shula) want him to get his feet in the proper position -- then throw the ball," Rivera explained. "You do see the difference."

To Newton's credit, he understands what aspects of his game must be fixed after signing one of the richest contracts in the league.

"It's all about footwork and trusting the protection," Newton acknowledged.

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