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Cam Newton on running less often: Do you ask a lion not to roar?

Carolina Panthers v Washington Redskins

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 19: Quarterback Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers in action against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on December 19, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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The selection of running back Christian McCaffrey and wide receiver Curtis Samuel in the first two rounds of this year’s draft led to a lot of offseason discussion about the Panthers’ offensive plans for the 2017 season.

A lot of that discussion focused on getting the ball out of quarterback Cam Newton’s hands more quickly than in past years, which would allow receivers a chance to make plays after the catch as well as allow Newton to avoid some of the hits that lead to injury issues. The latter point has also been part of talk about Newton running the ball less often, although the quarterback didn’t sound like he’s planning any major changes on that front when asked about it on Thursday.

“That’s my edge,” Newton said, via Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer. “You going to expect a lion not to roar?”

Adding shorter passes and less predictability to the offensive menu would seem to be a step in the right direction for the Panthers offense, but any gains there could be mitigated by taking away something that Newton has done very successfully during his career. As Newton said, his running ability gives him an edge that can be exploited to the team’s benefit so it’s likely to remain a central part of the offensive picture in Carolina.