Ron Rivera: Cam Newton has a 'lot of room to grow'

Cam Newton is coming off a pristine regular season that ended with an much-deserved MVP award -- but is he just getting started?

Panthers coach Ron Rivera believes as much, telling a North Carolina radio station Wednesday that his prized quarterback still has "an awful lot of room to grow."

"He can really transcend this game in many different ways because of the way the game is played today," Rivera told WZGV-AM. "The game is played at an up tempo, it's played from a spread offense, it's played from the shotgun ... the quarterbacks makes the opportunity to whether run, throw or pass. I mean, he truly is a triple threat now."

Newton in 2015 became just the 10th passer in NFL history to account for 50 touchdowns during the regular season and playoffs. He also became the first quarterback in league history to throw 30 touchdowns and run for another 10 in a single campaign. An absolute load to deal with, Newton fried defenses with his dangerous mobility and clutch arm.

It's hard to imagine him reaching such heights in back-to-back campaigns, but it's worth noting that Carolina welcomes back wideout Kelvin Benjamin this autumn. Numbers aside, the unusual physical traits that make Newton a nightmare for opponents will remain intact deep into the future. At 27, he's just entering the sweet spot of his career and could easily play for another decade. Just another reason why Rivera believes Ace Boogie has yet to touch his ceiling.

"As he continues to learn and understand more and more about offensive and defensive plays, his decision-making is going to be even better," Rivera said. "As long as he continues to stay healthy and keep getting better physically and work on his base fundamentals, I think the young man is going to get better."

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