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“To some degree, he’s on a different level. I told him this,” Newton said. “When I throw a three-step drop or an out-route, I’ve got to get back real fast to get it to him extremely quick because he’s that explosive as a player.”

It’s the same attribute the Panthers expect from their new QB. They are gambling that Newton, who played only one season of major college football in a spread offense, will become the franchise quarterback they’ve never had.

Newton’s chiseled 6-foot-5 frame stood out as he wore shorts and a T-shirt without sleeves on Thursday morning, the only day reporters were allowed to attend the workouts.

Newton was one of the first players on the field before 8 a.m. He caught some punts before lobbing some passes. Left tackle Jordan Gross said Newton has won several conditioning contests.

Cam has really just come in and kind of kept quiet,” Gross said. “He had fun with the guys and tried to fit in and earn respect and doing things right. He’s thrown some great passes, gotten under center, been vocal with his cadence when we’ve done our team offense stuff.

“Overall, he’s just shown he’s in shape and willing to work hard.”

Newton showed no fatigue from his day of traveling. He attended a celebration Wednesday at the White House with his old Auburn teammates for winning the national title in January, talking briefly with President Barack Obama.

“The secret service wouldn’t let us get too close to him,” Newton said. “It was, ‘Hey, how are you?’” and you were out. But it was awesome being in his presence.”

Then Newton quickly headed back to Charlotte. There was more work to do, more bonding with teammates, more studying.

“Everything has been great,” Newton said. “We’ve been getting excellent participation from the team. We’re just out here every single day trying to do the best that we can with the material that we do have to try to learn and comprehend.”


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