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Dave Gettleman: Cam Newton Really Grew Up This Season

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Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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Panthers General Manager Dave Gettleman joined Mac and Jim to discuss the upcoming offseason. He discusses Ron Rivera growing, the importance of a teaching coaching staff, being misunderstood about Cam, and Cam’s development.

On the importance of tight ends: We were running the ball fine early on, but then Ben Hartsock got hurt. If you want to be a running team, you have to get solid blocking out of your tight end. Unfortunately, Ben got hurt and when he came back he wasn’t 100%, the knee was bothering him. Oviously, we need a healthy Ben Hartsock and more than likely we need a younger guy to work in and become that blocker.

On the one-year contracts: You don’t want to have to do that every year. Part of that is we have a full compliment of draft picks. We got Marvin McNutt, Tavarres King, and Travis Bond off of practice squads and I look at those guys like draft picks. It’s not an ideal model to be near the top of the league in the number of free agents every year. It puts a lot of pressure on you and you can’t make mistakes. We’d like to get to a position where we have 8-10 unrestricted free agents every year, because that’s the normal order of things.

On his philosophy on Free Agency: The purpose of unrestricted free agency is to set yourself up so you can take the best player on the board (in the draft).

On Cam Newton: He showed us over and over again his ability to make plays from the pocket this year. He’s always had the talent, but there’s a million guys with talent out of the league. He really grew up this year. It’s really exciting to have be the quarterback of the Carolina Panthers going forward and I think he’s going to get a lot better yet.

Jim also has some fun with Dave about his voice, Mac asks about Greg Hardy, Cam’s extension and watching the playoffs. Mac also asks about a certain wide receiver from Gettleman’s old team that happens to be from Charlotte.

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