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Cypher


Joined: 04 Mar 2008
Posts: 2736
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 3:00 pm    Post subject: Cam Newton Reply with quote

I wanted to share this. A conversation elsewhere inspired me to do a little contextual research. I keep hearing how our downfield passing attack is the cause of Cam's low completion percentage, so I delved into "air yards", a metric measuring how many yards a ball is in the air before hitting the receiver. This is not just completions, but ATTEMPTS. Keep that in mind.

1. Kirk Cousins - 571 Attempts, 2,753 air yards, 67.3% completion percentage (4.82 air yards/attempt)
2. Drew Brees - 623 Attempts, 2,630 air yards, 70.9% completion percentage (4.22 air yards/attempt)
3. Jameis Winston - 532 Attempts, 2,589 air yards, 61.1% completion percentage (4.87 air yards/attempt)
4. Carson Palmer - 559 Attempts, 2,417 air yards, 61.5% completion percentage (4.32 air yards/attempt)
5. Matt Ryan - 498 Attempts, 2,417 air yards, 69.5% completion percentage (4.85 air yards/attempt)
6. Andrew Luck - 505 Attempts, 2,306 air yards, 63.8% completion percentage (4.57 air yards/attempt)
7. Russell Wilson - 514 Attempts, 2,267 air yards, 65% completion percentage (4.41 air yards/attempt)
8. Andy Dalton - 535 Attempts, 2,240 air yards, 64.7% completion percentage (4.19 air yards/attempt)
9. Aaron Rodgers - 571 Attempts, 2,225 air yards, 65.5% completion percentage (3.90 air yards/attempt)
10. Phillip Rivers - 540 Attempts, 2,174 air yards, 60.6% completion percentage (4.03 air yards/attempt)
11. Dak Prescott - 451 Attempts, 2,119 air yards, 68.1% completion percentage (4.70 air yards/attempt)
12. Marcus Mariota - 451 Attempts, 2,095 air yards, 61.2% completion percentage (4.65 air yards/attempt)
13. Ben Roethlisberger - 509 Attempts, 2,095 air yards, 64.4% completion percentage (4.12 air yards/attempt)
14. Joe Flacco - 623 Attempts, 2,081 air yards, 64.8% completion percentage (3.34 air yards/attempt)
15. Derek Carr - 560 Attempts, 2,063 air yards, 63.8% completion percentage (3.68 air yards/attempt)
16. Cam Newton - 478 Attempts, 2,037 air yards, 52.7% completion percentage (4.26 air yards/attempt)

Based on this, I find the argument that all our plays and routes are deep down the field completely at odds with the hard numbers. Further, Cam seems to be the only upper-tier QB struggling in an offense that focuses on pushing the ball down the field.

It would seem to me Cam's inaccuracy and struggles with ball placement have very little to do with the system and are purely a symptom of incredibly poor mechanics. That's likely something we won't be able to fix at this point.

So how do you build a functional offense that can score consistently with that?
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Lasus83


Joined: 09 Mar 2006
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Location: Charlotte, NC
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 3:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Cam Newton Reply with quote

Cypher wrote:


So how do you build a functional offense that can score consistently with that?


Ground game....

Good research, btw... what was the scope of this? Career? This year?
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Cypher


Joined: 04 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 4:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Cam Newton Reply with quote

Lasus83 wrote:
Cypher wrote:


So how do you build a functional offense that can score consistently with that?


Ground game....

Good research, btw... what was the scope of this? Career? This year?


This season.
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Lasus83


Joined: 09 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 4:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Cam Newton Reply with quote

Cypher wrote:
Lasus83 wrote:
Cypher wrote:


So how do you build a functional offense that can score consistently with that?


Ground game....

Good research, btw... what was the scope of this? Career? This year?


This season.


I might look a little further, then.

My gut says that Cam will never look like another top tier QB... but lets face it, he doesn't look like a lot of other top tier QBs in a lot of ways.

Our offense has sucked this year... no question. Running game went from top 3 to middle of the league. I'm sure the passing game followed suit.
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Cypher


Joined: 04 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 5:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Cam Newton Reply with quote

Lasus83 wrote:
Cypher wrote:
Lasus83 wrote:
Cypher wrote:


So how do you build a functional offense that can score consistently with that?


Ground game....

Good research, btw... what was the scope of this? Career? This year?


This season.


I might look a little further, then.

My gut says that Cam will never look like another top tier QB... but lets face it, he doesn't look like a lot of other top tier QBs in a lot of ways.

Our offense has sucked this year... no question. Running game went from top 3 to middle of the league. I'm sure the passing game followed suit.


At a glance, his best season (2015, obviously) coincided with his largest air yards/attempt number in his career.
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iknowcool


Joined: 15 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, just to clarify. You disagree that the scheme combined with our lack of talent for it has no effect on Newton's numbers?

Because I don't recall anybody saying Newton's lack of accuracy isn't a result of his poor mechanics. Just that his statistics aren't a complete reflection of that. A lot more things go into that.

Flacco has had years where he had 57-59%.
Stafford has had multiple years in the 50s.
Luck last year had 55%. As a rookie, he was at 54.1%.

I could go on and on. Nobody denies his mechanics sucks. But the idea that you can't build a functional offense around him is ridiculous. CMP% is as tied to a QBs accuracy as it is everything around him, hence why Luck can go from a season with 55 CMP% to 63.8 CMP%. Or hell, how Newton can have 61% in 2013 and 52.7% this year. Was Newton just a far more accurate QB in 2013 than he is now? Or did something else play a role?

We run a downfield passing game that rarely utilizes its RBs (IIRC, we have by far the lowest production from our backs in the receiving game but need to double check on that) with a bad offensive line and wide receivers who can't consistently separate at any level on the field. And a QB who, like you said, isn't very accurate. It's a terrible mix. His poor number have something to do with his skill-set, but they also have something to do with everything around him. There is only one person (seemingly) not willing to accept that both have played an immense role.
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Cypher


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

iknowcool wrote:
So, just to clarify. You disagree that the scheme combined with our lack of talent for it has no effect on Newton's numbers?


No, no. The entire debate was that Cam's completion percentage was so low because we throw down the field all the time. That was what inspired me to research it.

Quote:

I could go on and on. Nobody denies his mechanics sucks. But the idea that you can't build a functional offense around him is ridiculous. CMP% is as tied to a QBs accuracy as it is everything around him, hence why Luck can go from a season with 55 CMP% to 63.8 CMP%. Or hell, how Newton can have 61% in 2013 and 52.7% this year. Was Newton just a far more accurate QB in 2013 than he is now? Or did something else play a role?


I don't know that you can build a consistently effective offense. However, what i've noted with Cam over his career is two key elements - mechanical and mental. He tends to revert mechanically when he feels pressure (both phantom and real), and when he's frustrated he tends to revert to his "win the game on every down" mentality where he ignores checkdowns and free yards and tries to force the ball downfield despite coverage.

In 2013 and last season, he seemed "reined in" to some degree and wasn't doing the latter nearly as often.

Quote:

We run a downfield passing game that rarely utilizes its RBs (IIRC, we have by far the lowest production from our backs in the receiving game but need to double check on that) with a bad offensive line and wide receivers who can't consistently separate at any level on the field. And a QB who, like you said, isn't very accurate. It's a terrible mix. His poor number have something to do with his skill-set, but they also have something to do with everything around him. There is only one person (seemingly) not willing to accept that both have played an immense role.


His oline has been rough, but has actually hovered around the league average most of the year. It's not been great, but despite the numbers people tend to ignore that because Cam does tend to hold onto the ball, and has had a tendency in the past to just run straight into sacks. Laughing

I'm not saying nothing else is a factor. Of course the scheme and supporting cast can directly impact that.

However, the scheme, to me, is unlikely to play more of a role than a 1-2% swing. His mechanics are the biggest problem right now, and i'm not sure that's repairable any longer.
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ryanxmerch


Joined: 28 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't need the numbers to tell me that the Panthers don't run as many bubble screens, flat patterns, or quick crosses then 75% of the league. It takes maybe 3 games to watch this offense that this offense doesn't have quick easy completions built in that every other QB has.

Not to mention when they do run a quick pattern there is some intricate read option where Cam is pulling the ball out of a RB's stomach tenths of a second before trying to fire a pass into a tight window. Of course his mechanics are going to be off.

The read option has been figured out bottom line, the have three GREAT interior lineman they need to get back to a power run game with pulling guards and centers that is when they have been the best this season. Build the run game and let Cam be him off that, Cam will not be a guy that like Rodgers and Brady that can carry a team on his back, he needs a run game and a defense, and they have the ability to do both of those things, they need to get back to their identity.
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iknowcool


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agree to disagree then. I respect your opinion and I don't disagree that a lot of Cam's issues are on him. I've never tried to say otherwise and if I did, I misspoke. However, I think you kind of overrate the quality of QBs in the NFL. He's still one of the 10 or 15 best, give or take. There are consistently functional offenses with lesser QBs (ie. Chiefs w/ Smith... even though I do think he takes unnecessary heat).

The scheme we run isn't meant for consistency. Not with the talent we have. Olsen is the only player who can consistently get open and too often we're sending him miles downfield. We have no running game. Receivers are garbage. Newton isn't flawless, but the scheme fails because it doesn't adjust to the talent.

I will disagree that it just amounts to a 1-2% difference. There are plenty of examples of QBs in Newton's range (Stafford, Luck, etc.) with huge variances in CMP% from year to year. There is a lot that goes into it beyond just how accurate a QB is. You think it is a coincidence someone like Eli (who isn't some pinpoint passer) Eli goes from 57% to consistently 63% once McAdoo, who employs a lot of quick hitters, becomes offensive coordinator/head coach? CMP%, like a lot of stats in the NFL (for example, how you point out how Cam hurts the offensive line just as much as they do him), is a culmination of a lot of things. No, I don't think Cam's 52 CMP% is a complete and accurate representation of his accuracy. It's a reflection of a lot of different things, which is why it fluctuates for a lot of QBs. Heck, you even said 2013 was a result of Cam being "reined" in.

But it's clear Rivera is too loyal to get rid of Shula.
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Panthers11


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First drive today, no-huddle TD.
Then we return to huddling and haven't scored.
It's infuriating.
We gotta can Shula.
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