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Ron Rivera: Panthers could bring in QB to challenge Cam Newton

Ron Rivera has given every indication he has complete faith in Cam Newton, but the Carolina Panthers head coach did not rule out bringing in a quarterback to motivate and challenge the team’s entrenched signal-caller.

Discussing Newton during an appearance Friday on ESPN’s “First Take,” Rivera was asked by Stephen A. Smith whether the Panthers believe adding a quarterback who conceivably would put some pressure on Newton.

“I don’t disagree with that because if there is one thing that he likes it’s to be challenged. Bringing in another quarterback, bringing in somebody to compete with him most certainly does motivate him,” Rivera said, via the Panthers’ official site. “But more so than anything else, the naysayers, those whispers, those are motivating enough for him.”

Rivera was also asked about the progress Newton is making after undergoing an arthroscopic scope procedure on his shoulder last month.

“I was fortunate enough to see him after the procedure, it was one of his first recovery days, and he said, ‘Coach, I got the mobility back,’” Rivera said. “That was a huge plus.

“He feels challenged. And any time he’s felt challenged he’s stepped up his game.”

Rivera touched upon essentially the same talking points as Newton himself did in a vlog posted to YouTube that documented his surgery and its immediate aftermath.

Newton by all accounts has the starting quarterback job all but locked up, barring any setbacks in rehab, though the Panthers believe he’ll be ready in time to be a full participant in training camp.

That said, Newton has been the model of inconsistency in recent seasons, so the notion that the Panthers may try to mix things up by bringing in some competition in a bid to get him locked in could prove to be a savvy motivational tactic.