CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Coach Ron Rivera says despite some growing pains he believes Cam Newton is improving and is ``right where you want a second-year quarterback to be.''
Newton's overall record as an NFL starter is just 9-18 and he hasn't come close this year to matching the numbers he put up as a rookie.
Still, Rivera says Carolina's 30-22 victory Monday night over Philadelphia only reaffirms his belief Newton is making steady strides. Newton threw for 306 yards and had four touchdowns - two passing and two rushing - in the victory.
The Panthers expected more of those types of performances from Newton this season.
Rivera says the coaching staff's decision to ``take things off his plate'' midway through the season has been instrumental in Newton's increased production in recent weeks.