The Carolina Panthers rookie needs to make the most of his opportunities.
Before I get into this piece, let me just preface it. I do not think that quarterback Will Grier will replace Cam Newton to start the season, no matter how bad the latter’s shoulder injury is. However, it is safe to the Carolina Panthers view Grier as a big-time prospect. That much has been evident throughout practices so far.
Granted, Grier is getting a lot of snaps largely because Newton is still rehabbing from his shoulder injury. On Monday, he was working the with the starting group, and had mixed results. He looked good on some throws, but he threw a pick-six that was intercepted by Kawann Short as noted by Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer. Even still, one fact is undeniable: now is Will Grier’s time to shine.
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We have no idea as to when Cam Newton will be back to organized team activities yet, and how long it will take before he is fully healthy. Hopefully, it is soon. For now, he is easing into things as he works his shoulder back into game shape. Now is the opportunity for Grier to make the most of the time he is given on the field. This will give the Carolina Panthers a good idea of what he is capable of, and will give them tape in regards to his tendencies. I’m sure they know a little bit of that already, but it will be nice to have a couple tapes that they can use to evaluate their draft pick.
This was a guy that coming into the NFL Draft, was thought to have some starting capability. I do believe he will be a starter in the National Football League. Whether it will be for the Carolina Panthers or another team remains to be seen. He is probably the best insurance policy that you can get as he has the starting pedigree right off the bat. It is becoming clearer, with today an example, that he can play at a high level. Grier is not going to be a guy that warms up the benches and wears the headset his whole career. The Carolina Panthers undoubtedly drafted him with that in mind.
He must take this time and use it wisely as he tries to build up the confidence of his teammates and coaches. To his credit, he has seemed comfortable taking the backup role. He doesn’t seem like he is going to be angry that Newton will start for the foreseeable future. In the meantime, he will have all that time to learn. He probably isn’t going to fade into the sunset, and will be the starter once Newton retires. He will certainly have lofty shoes to fill by then, but as you can see he is putting in the work beginning right now.