CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The only thing crazier than having a linebacker as your hands guy for onside kicks would be putting your quarterback out there.
Unless, of course, your quarterback is Cam Newton. Then, it actually might make sense. He’s the best athlete on the field at any given time, he’s big enough to withstand hits from the opposing team, and, what’s more, he wants the job!
“I was always wondering why I’m not on the hands team,” Newton said after Carolina’s win Sunday that was sealed when linebacker Thomas Davis secured Seattle’s onside attempt with 1:11 remaining. “I catch the ball every single shotgun snap.”
Newton wasn’t about to let the idea go.
“I think I’ll put the case in,” he said. “I’m telling you, these hands are tailgate approved, much appreciated. No gloves, either. Know what I’m saying? No artificial, just straight organic hands. You don’t see that a lot of times in this day and age.”
Davis handled the job well enough that there likely will not be an audition in practices this week as the Panthers prepare for the Cardinals and the NFC Championship Game. But still.
“I keep trying to tell coach [Mike] Shula [the offensive coordinator], ‘Just give me a chance,’ ” Newton said. “Hopefully.”