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Q&A with Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer 

 AP 

By Brandon J. Koch

With the Buffalo Bills in Carolina for a week 2 matchup with the Panthers, I interviewed columnist Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer. 

Thanks to Scott for taking time and answering.

Q: “How is Cam Newton’s shoulder? Was his poor passes last Sunday from his shoulder or lack of time in preseason?”

A: “Lack of timing and rustiness. I believe his shoulder will allow him to throw the deep ball as needed, but I think the problem is more the lack of time.”

Q: “Are the coaches trying to limit Cam from taking off and run too much?”
A: “Yes. They are being careful with him and I expect he will only do designed runs maybe 2-3 times a game, as opposed to maybe 6-8 earlier in his career.”
Q: “How is Christian McCaffery and Jonathan Stewart used in the Panthers offense?”

A: “About a 50-50 split, with Stewart more in the base offense and McCaffrey in on more third downs.”
Q: “With Ted Ginn Jr. gone, who is the deep threat for this offense?”

A: “They don’t really have an established one. Leslie Shepherd would be the closest. A young guy named Damiere Byrd never plays but would be a deep threat if they ever let him get some snaps.”
Q: “Are the Panthers defense different at all from last year? If so, how?”

A: “Not really, except that Julius Peppers strengthened the D-line rotation a little and Mike Adams is an upgrade at safety over Tre Boston.” 
Q: “What happened with Mike Tolbert and the Panthers?”

A: “The Panthers — specifically Dave Gettleman — thought Tolbert’s best days were behind him and didn’t want to pay him as much as he was making. It was a salary-cap move; they knew he would land elsewhere.”

Q: “Do you think the Panthers regret not firing Gettleman sooner to try and keep Brandon Beane?”

A: “Well, only Jerry Richardson knows the answer to that. But you certainly wouldn’t let Beane leave if you knew you were going to fire Gettleman a month later, which makes me think Jerry Richardson didn’t have any idea at the time what he was about to do.”

Q: “At age 37, how much does Julius Peppers have left?”

A: “They are only playing him about half the snaps. He may be 70-80 percent of what he was, but that’s still pretty good.”

Q: “How can football fans find you on Twitter/ other?”

A: “@scott_fowler” 

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