Countdown to Cam Newton?

Here’s the plan for Friday night. I’ve got it set up so I’ll be able to watch the Carolina Panthers and Miami Dolphins on one screen and the Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars on another without having to move my neck.

I’ll be providing observations on the Panthers and Falcons as soon as their games are over. But, as you know, the big storyline tonight is the competition between Cam Newton and Jimmy Clausen for Carolina’s starting quarterback job.

We’ve already got a Call It poll asking you to vote on who should be the starter. At last glance, we were approaching 6,000 votes. If you haven’t already voted, you might want to wait to see how Newton and Clausen fare.

As I’ve said several times in recent days, every indication I’ve gotten from the Panthers is that it’s Newton’s job to lose. In other words, if he goes down to Miami and plays respectably (no horrible mistakes and shows a decent grasp of the offense), the Panthers will go ahead and name him the starter for the regular-season opener. If Newton has a really bad game and Clausen has a good one, then things change.

In addition to my observations on the Panthers, I’ll provide an analysis on the quarterback situation soon after Newton and Clausen finish playing. But you don’t have to wait for me.

Feel free to hit the comments section below and discuss what you’re seeing out of Newton and Clausen while they’re playing. We did the same thing last week and the results were fantastic. So fire away with the comments.

Also, New Orleans fans, hang tight. The Saints don’t play until Saturday night in Houston. My plan is to post a list of three things to watch in that game earlier on Saturday. I’ll watch the game Saturday night and provide a list of observations on the Saints as soon as their game ends.