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Cam Newton to Start for Panters in Opener

Cam Newton
during the second quarter of a preseason NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011. (AP Photo/Rick Havner)
Steelers Panthers Foo Mian
during the second quarter of a preseason NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011. (AP Photo/Rick Havner)

Cam Newton won’t be sitting back and watching from the sidelines to begin the season.

The Carolina Panthers announced this week that Newton will be the starter at quarterback come Opening Day.

The No.1 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft and Heisman Trophy winner isn’t expected to be the team’s savior according to coach Ron Rivera, but they’re hoping Newton can help the Panthers improve on their 2-14 record from a year ago.

“We didn’t draft Cam to be the savior,” coach Ron Rivera said, according to the Associated Press. “We drafted him to help lead this football team.”

Newton threw his first touchdown pass Thursday during the Panthers 33-17 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The agile quarterback hit tight end Jeremy Shockey for a 10-yard touchdown in his last preseason game before the regular season starts next week.

Playing in only the first series of the game, Newton was 3-for-5 passing for 25 yards.

His first game will come on Sept. 11 against the Arizona Cardinals.

Said Newton: “Even with this position given, it doesn’t stop here. I can’t just sit back and say, ‘I’ve arrived,’ because we’ve got a long way to go.”

In the four games this preseason; Newton was 24-for-57 passing with one touchdown and no interceptions.

The talented quarterback out of Auburn also showed off what he can do with his legs, scrambling for 86 yards on 9 attempts during he four games.

He rushed for 49 yards against Cincinnati in Week 3 of the preseason.

-With Associated Press

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