Cam Newton's potential breakout

The Carolina QB was great in the final six games last season. Will he improve?

Originally Published: June 3, 2013
By Matt Bowen | Special to ESPN Insider

Cam NewtonDavid T. Foster III/Charlotte Observer/MCT/Getty ImagesCam Newton showed signs of elevating his game to the next level late last season.

The term "sophomore slump" was thrown at Cam Newton early in 2012 after the Carolina Panthers got off to a brutal 2-8 start. However, after he played his best football of the season during a 5-1 stretch to close out the schedule, is it safe to say that Newton is primed to be a top-tier QB in 2013?

Let's examine the tape to see exactly how Newton improved over the final six games of the season and go into detail on why the arrow is pointing up on the Panthers' quarterback.

Mechanics

When I talk about proper mechanics at the quarterback position, my focus shifts to footwork and technique. That leads to the proper ball placement and timing within the route tree, which is a must when you are asked to put a throw on the upfield shoulder away from a defender's leverage at the point of attack. It's important to set a strong base, square your feet, keep the ball up high and step into the throw.

Matt Bowen

Special to ESPN Insider
Former NFL safety Matt Bowen is a veteran of four teams over seven seasons, and now provides analysis for a number of media outlets.