What if I told you that no Panther in the franchise’s 17 year history won the Rookie of the Year award? Well that all changed tonight as Cam Newton won the top honor as he received 47 out of the 50 votes needed to win the honor.
Of course, some of us thought Newton wasn’t the guy for us, leading to most of us thinking that she could be a legitimate “Bust”, but he proved us wrong every single step of the way during the 2011 season for the Carolina Panthers, finishing with 35 total touchdowns, the most by a rookie, while became the first quarterback in NFL history to pass for 4,000 yards and rush for 500 yards in a single season. Not to mention that he also broke Steve Grogan’s 35-year old record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with 14 on the year. He also had 2 of his best games in his rookie season, a 432-yard performance in the week against the Green Bay Packers at Bank of America Stadium, and a 422-yard performance in the season’s opening week at Arizona.
At tonight’s NFL Honors award show in Indianapolis on the night before tomorrow’s Super Bowl XLVI, he was deeply honored to receive the honor, while thanking those that supported him during his rookie year.
“I’ve got to give all the honor and glory to the man above.” Newton said, “I want to thank my coaching staff, and Mr. (Jerry)Richardson for giving me the opportunity. And my fans-without them, I would not be here.”
As a fan, I watched him progress from his days at Auburn, where he won a National Championship and the Heisman Trophy during their unbeaten season, and he was the guy everyone wanted to see when he took the field in a Panthers uniform. Cam was the obvious choice to win the honor in only his first season in the NFL after all he did in his breakout season, that garnered a lot of attention from the media everywhere in not only North and South Carolina, but the entire nation that knew that they were going to see something special out of Cam Newton, and we did get to see his impressive work on the field this season and are looking for another breakout year in the 2012 NFL season.