Nov 16

I asked Villanueva how he felt being the unwitting face of this controversy for a few days.

The Star-Telegram reported that Roberts recommended no suspension for Elliott, and her recommendation was ignored. The interview Roberts conducted with Elliott’s accuser was extensive. Transcripts of some of the conversations with Elliott’s accuser, which were obtained by the Dallas Morning News, show that Roberts thoroughly questioned Elliott’s accuser about discrepancies in her account of these events.

A transcript of the appeal hearing obtained by the Dallas Morning News reveals that Elliott’s representatives did attack that point doggedly.

She’d moved back to her hometown of Vinton, La., to help take care of her parents when her father began showing signs of early Alzheimer’s disease, before she was diagnosed. The hospital where she was being treated was in Shreveport, close to a four-hour drive away in the northern part of the state, so family members pitched in to drive her once a month, and then once every other week, as the frequency of her treatments increased.

So where the Panthers wanted to work on reprogramming Newton, they couldn’t. And when they wanted to build timing between him and new left tackle Matt Kalil, or him and rookie Christian McCaffrey—the Swiss Army knife drafted to provide those easy completions-turned-big gains—they didn’t always get the reps they needed for it.

That explained why Newton was, in the staff’s eyes, uneven through the first four weeks of the season. It should also illustrate why the New England game was his breakthrough—that was the first week he threw in full during all three days of practice, and led to Newton’s freakish ability flashing again. Against the Patriots, he uncorked one throw from the left hashmark to the right sideline that made Rivera say, as he recalls, O.K., I like what I just saw.
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