Newton is a threat to score on every possession inside the red zone due to his proficiency as a runner, and he's made concerted efforts to improve in the pocket throughout his career. However, the seven-year veteran's quarterback rating has hovered around 80 the past two seasons, and dipped below 76 in 2016. For Panthers offensive coordinator Norv Turner, the aim is to make sure the 2015 NFL MVP is more consistent.
"In the middle of that, of a 16-game season, he has four or five games where that rating is not very good," he said of Newton to Alex Marvez and Bill Polian of SiriusXM NFL Radio. "And that, obviously, makes your average not as good as you’d like. So what we’re going to try to work hard for is eliminate the peaks and the valleys and try to, on a weekly basis, make it more consistent. And I think that’ll help us, offensively, be more consistent and certainly will help him."
Turner noted that Newton is still effective, in large part due to his ability to spur the team's ground game, but he's looking for his star quarterback to play to his fullest potential as the Panthers look to make a deep playoff run.
"He gets away with that because he makes so many big plays in the running game,” he said. "But the one thing that I think when you look at it that we’re going to work hard to help him is, he has a large number of games where his quarterback rating is as high as anyone’s is. It’s in the high 90s, low 100s."