Coach Ron Rivera has named No. 1 pick Cam Newton the starting quarterback for the Panthers’ preseason game Friday night at Miami.
Despite calls in Charlotte and nationally for Rivera to end the suspense and declare Newton the Week 1 starter, Rivera said the competition between Newton and Jimmy Clausen will remain open until next week.
Rivera will announce his regular-season starter before the third exhibition game at Cincinnati, when the Panthers plan to give the starters their most extensive work of the preseason.
Newton, who ran a basic offense at Auburn, was up and down last week against the Giants. He made a couple of nice throws but misfired on a few others and got anxious in the red zone.
Clausen threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown on the opening series, but he settled down after that. Clausen, who went 1-9 as a starter his rookie year, is more consistent at this point.
But Newton has the bigger upside and has the superior arm—a big consideration for a team that wants to stretch the field in offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski’s system.