One of the most storied names in Carolina Panthers history is taking issue with how the tenure of another may end.
Former Carolina running back DeAngelo Williams appeared on ESPN's First Take on Monday to discuss whether Newton has lost his starting job to fellow Carolina quarterback to Kyle Allen, who has filled in admirably while Newton has been sidelined with a foot injury. Williams not only believed Newton should still be the Panthers' man under center, but he called out Carolina's staff for its treatment of the former Heisman Trophy winner.
"I'm mad at (Carolina offensive coordinator) Norv Turner and I'm mad at (Carolina head coach) Ron Rivera," Williams said. "What you're asking Kyle Allen to do is not what you ask Cam Newton to do. You ask Cam Newton to win it with his legs, you ask Cam Newton to pass out water bottles, you ask Cam to read defense, you ask Cam to beat you in to so many other ways."
Williams, the second-leading rusher in Panthers history, played nine seasons in Carolina, the final four alongside Newton.
"All Kyle Allen's doing is stepping back, throwing the ball, and handing the damn ball off to Christian McCaffrey."
Williams maintains that Carolina's West Coast offense doesn't suit the mobile talents of Newton well. Host and panelist Max Kellerman reminded Williams that Newton had success in the system before another injury sidelined him, but the ex-rusher believes Newton could've avoided injury entirely in a different strategy.
"All I'm saying is, what you're asking Kyle Allen to do, when Cam comes back, ask him to do the same thing and compare apples to apples, not oranges to apples," he said. "Because you're asking Cam not to just manage a game and not lose one, you're asking him to go win one. All Kyle Allen is doing is managing the game to not lose."
While Williams' comments could start a discussion about Rivera and Turner's West Coast set-up, it's reasonable to think they would expect a different game plan from Newton. Obviously you'd ask a long-time starter to do different things than Allen, an undrafted free agent who played in just two games last season.
In Allen's defense, he has helped keep Carolina's offense rolling in Newton's absence. He has thrown for 1,291 yards and nine touchdowns over six games and posted a passer rating of 87.8 passer. The Panthers have gone 5-1 in Allen's starts, allowing them to keep pace in the crowded NFC playoff picture. In contrast, Carolina was 0-2 in non-Newton starts last season. Allen split the two outliers with Taylor Heinicke.
The Panthers (5-3) are currently a half-game behind Minnesota for the final conference wild-card spot. They return to action on Sunday afternoon in Green Bay (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox).