CHARLOTTE – Head coach Ron Rivera isn't concerned that Cam Newton's arm strength has become any sort of liability.
The coach that will face Newton this week feels the same way.
"Man if he's got a sore arm, I'd hate to see the real deal," Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter said on a conference call Wednesday. "Cam has always had a cannon. He can stand flat-footed and put that thing on a line.
"I've been in this division a long time, and arm strength is probably about the 159th thing on the list that you'd be worried about with Cam."
For the second consecutive week, Newton began practice watching Carolina's other quarterbacks throw passes. He's again taking it easy on his throwing shoulder, and Rivera said it's for the best for the eighth-year quarterback who doesn't need to shoulder such a load in practice.
"It's a good thing for him because quite frankly he's at a point where he probably doesn't need to throw 105 balls a day," Rivera said. "He had OTAs, minicamp, training camp and the early part of the season to jell with these guys, and now we're in a situation where this is his new normal."
The coaching staff started limiting Newton's throws in practice this time last week, when Newton's shoulder that was surgically repaired two-plus years ago was sore after he attempted 22 fourth-quarter passes in a dramatic comeback against the Eagles.
This Wednesday, the Panthers took much the same approach, with one added element. Carolina signed rookie quarterback Kyle Allen back to the practice squad to support Newton and Taylor Heinicke – who spelled Newton for the final snap of the first half last Sunday against Baltimore.
"Now with the situation with Cam, with the new normal, we've got to make sure we've got a third arm for Wednesday and Thursday practices," Rivera said. "Taylor is a smart, sharp football player who just waits for his opportunity to get on the football field, which we saw Sunday. He goes through everything that Cam does for the most part, so it's really next man up in those terms.
"Bringing Kyle back and giving him an opportunity, he's got to run the scout team, so what he does is probably a little more important as far as our defense is concerned. He handled that very well. Both of those guys have contributed."
And Newton, even when he doesn't throw passes, is contributing as well.
"He's constantly engaged," Rivera said. "(Quarterbacks coach) Scotty Turner is in his ear. Coach Norv (offensive coordinator Norv Turner) is in his ear. And the neat thing is that he's in the ear of his teammates.
"He's engaged. He's interacting constantly."