Meanwhile, the most exciting young player to hit the NFL in the last decade quietly goes about improving in Carolina.
There is a train of thought from some fans that Newton hasn't proven anything yet. That he might slide back. I expect him to take a step forward close to the top-five quarterbacks in the game. There is no quarterback, no team I'd rather watch for the next 16 weeks.
The other guys can get the headlines in August. We'll be watching and writing about Newton all year.
A Good Day For ...
Instant Debate: T.O., Chad or Randy?
Johnson and Randy Moss are all looking to regain former glory. Who will have the biggest impact? More ...
Depth Chart Machinations
In some cases, we don't put too much stock into initial depth charts. LeGarrette Blount is ahead of Doug Martin on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but the practice reps tell a different story. On the other hand, coaches put thought into what goes out there. Joe Philbin was concerned enough about reaction to the depth chart that he told his quarterbacks about it before the news was official. (A great scene you'd only see on "Hard Knocks".)
I wrote up nine things to know from the depth charts around the NFL on Monday, and a few more teams have released them since. Here's what stuck out:
Not a Good Day for ...
- Brian Urlacher is missing from Chicago Bears training camp for "personal reasons." We suspect those personal reasons reside in his knee. It's fair to be concerned.
- We're not sure quite yet if it means much that Tarvaris Jackson won't play in the Seattle Seahawks' preseason opener. His practice snaps will decrease leading up the game. But it probably doesn't bode well for him. You don't limit reps for a guy you think is going to start, not matter how you stage a competition.