SPARTANBURG, S.C. – When quarterback Cam Newton was sidelined during offseason training activities, Derek Anderson was reminded what it's like to be the No. 1 quarterback.
In the process, the Panthers veteran backup quarterback reminded everyone that he's capable of handling that responsibility if necessary.
"For me, it's just making sure that I stay on top of my game," Anderson said. "Throwing the ball, making sure my mechanics are good and if there was a time that I have to play, that I'm ready to play and I understand everything."
Anderson was once again an unrestricted free agent this offseason, and despite interest from other teams, he re-signed with Carolina for the third consecutive offseason – this time on a two-year deal.
"There were some other things out there," Anderson said. "But I'm very happy with everything here with my family. My wife loves it here, we have a little one coming anytime, so another big thing for me is why go anywhere else and have to learn and meet a bunch of new teammates when I like it here?
"Great city. Great teammates."
Anderson returned to his comfort zone this offseason, but it was a cast of new wide receivers that had to adjust to a new environment.
With Newton rehabbing his ankle, it meant Anderson, who lost 26 pounds in the offseason, was the one familiarizing them with the Panthers offense.
"It takes time," Anderson said. "Obviously, I got all of the work with most of the guys in the spring, and Cam was out there to kind of see it and I talked with him, things like, 'You've got to kind of be careful with this guy, this is what he does.'
"You just keep grinding away at it and you learn every day. The learning curve has been great, a lot of guys have picked things up quick. We've been putting in a lot of stuff on guys as a group, and as an offense things have been pretty stable."
Anderson's job is to keep the offense stable when he enters the game. And despite only playing in eight games and completing all four of his pass attempts for 58 yards in three seasons with Carolina, Anderson is sure he'll perform at a high level if his number is called.
"Personally, I think I could (be a starter), but I'm happy with where we are here with our team and our situation," Anderson said. "I'm prepared to play at any moment – there's no other way. Mentally for me, I can't go into camp or into a game with any other mindset."