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Cam Newton hasn't lost confidence in Panthers' receivers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton threw to Ted Ginn Jr. five plays after the wide receiver dropped a pass – his second of the game and fourth in two games -- inside the Houston 30-yard line.

One play after rookie wide receiver Devin Funchess wasn’t ready on a hot read, Newton went back to him for a 15-yard gain.

First down.

Newton continued throwing to Phlly Brown after he had six drops in the preseason. Brown had three catches for 57 yards in Sunday’s 24-17 victory over the Texans. One was a 36-yard touchdown over the middle.

One of Newton’s strengths is he isn’t deterred by the weaknesses of others.

“Everybody sees the dropped balls and they are able to point to confidence,’’ Newton said. “The truth of the matter is that we have to do our job.

“My confidence wasn’t shattered in giving opportunities to guys that are doing what they are supposed to do. I am supposed to throw them the football and they are supposed to catch it. You know, they are professional athletes and that is what we get paid to do.”

There has been much skepticism surrounding Carolina’s wide receiving corps since No. 1 receiver Kelvin Benjamin suffered a season-ending knee injury in training camp. The preseason drops and failure for anybody to step forward increased that skepticism.

The Panthers still don’t have a true No. 1, and they probably won’t this season. But that isn’t a concern as Carolina (2-0) prepares to face the New Orleans Saints.

“We have wide receivers by committee,’’ coach Ron Rivera said. “When our young guys can step up and make plays, it gives us an opportunity to win football games.’’

Confidence isn’t lacking from this makeshift group that few in the NFL would recognize by name.

“I’ve never lost confidence in the use of my hands,’’ Brown said. “Cam obviously hasn’t lost much confidence in me.”

Resiliency perhaps best describes Carolina’s receivers so far.

“After I make a bad play I just want to do something and everything to try and make a play,’’ said Ginn, who finished Sunday with four catches for 41 yards on nine targets. “Being on this team and having the type of brothers that you have here, we never give up on each other.

“And so long as we go out and continue to play and we show that we’re open, Cam Newton is going to try to get us the ball.’’