Panthers still questioning big hits on Newton

The Panthers still arent thrilled about the hits Newton is taking.

Brad Mills—X02835
Dec 19

CHARLOTTE — Another week, another illegal-looking hit on quarterback Cam Newton and another clip for the Carolina Panthers to send to the league asking why a flag didn’t fly.Well, one did, but it was a penalty against Newton for throwing the ball at Washington Redskins defensive end Trent Murphy in Carolina’s 26-15 victory on Monday night. The taunting call penalized the Panthers 15 yards, pushing them out of field goal range while an in-stadium replay showed clear helmet-to-helmet contact.”What I saw was that Cam slid late and the defender went over the top,” referee Walt Coleman told a pool reporter. “I didn’t see any forcible contact with the head.”Coach Ron Rivera, who saw what everyone else did by looking up at the scoreboard, said afterward that he thought Murphy should have been penalized, an opinion that obviously hadn’t changed less than 24 hours later.”I’m [Newton’s] coach,” Rivera said Tuesday. “I’m most certainly going to favor him and I am biased.”What happened later certainly didn’t help quiet those who feel there’s some sort of conspiracy against Newton and the Panthers.With less than five minutes left in the game, Carolina defensive tackle Kawann Short was flagged for roughing the passer after he pushed a scrambling Kirk Cousins out of bounds.So why did one quarterback get the call while the other didn’t?”I’ve said it before, look at what used to happen to Shaquille O’Neal,” Rivera said. “[Newton’s] a big guy and when he takes hits, it’s a little different.”When [Short] hit the quarterback, he was still two feet inbounds. But KK hit him pretty good and he flew through the sideline, into the cheerleaders, up against the wall. It looks pretty dramatic.”