Cam not concerned about red zone woes

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Quarterback Cam Newton isn't worried about his or the Carolina Panthers' ability to score touchdowns.

Less than a week after the offense settled for field goals on three trips inside the Philadelphia Eagles' red zone, Newton announced his foundation is asking fans to pledge money for every rushing and passing touchdown he has in 2013.

It's called the "Super Cam Club."

Talk about pressure. The education of the youth in the Charlotte area is depending on it.

OK, so it's not quite that dramatic. But the timing is a bit ironic since the team’s inability to score touchdowns in the 14-9 loss to the Eagles was the biggest disappointment of Carolina's second preseason game.

And it has been made clear the emphasis in Thursday night's ESPN game against the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens will be getting into the end zone.

"That's been a focus this week,'' said Newton, who had 19 passing and eight rushing touchdowns in 2012. "Getting down in the red zone, that's what we play for. It just takes a little bit of focus ... on my part more importantly to put the ball in places that my guys have a chance.''

Newton hasn't done a good job of that so far, going 11-for-23 for 128 yards with one touchdown and one interception returned for a score in two games.

"We all know that and we're going to step up to the challenge,'' he said.

Newton will take on that challenge Thursday without a few key weapons. Running back Jonathan Stewart (ankle), fullback Mike Tolbert (hamstring), and receivers Armanti Edwards (hamstring), Domenik Hixon (hamstring) and Joe Adams (calf strain) will not play.

The absence of Edwards and Hixon leaves the competition for the No. 3 wide receiver spot to David Gettis and Ted Ginn Jr. Gettis leads the team in preseason receptions with eight for 138 yards, while Ginn is third with three for 56.

But Newton doesn't seem worried about who will play around him anymore than he is about scoring touchdowns.

"Obviously, this is going to tell a lot of things for us,'' he said. "A lot of guys are stepping up to the challenge. We just have to respond. This is going to be as game-like as any preseason that we play.''