Carolina Panthers starting quarterback Cam Newton, who re-wrote the rookie record book for quarterbacks while earning Rookie of the Year honors, recently said his attitude occasionally affected his team in a negative manner during the past season.
“I’ll be the first one to tell you, the pouting and the moping, I kind of overdid it,” Newton told reporters. “I know that. I was a bad teammate. I shut off to some people who gave unbelievable effort. . . That’s where I have to mature. Just be a better teammate. My position requires that I show leadership and people are looking at me. If I’m pouty and grumpy, that’s how they react to me.”
But some of his teammates did not agree.
“Cam was angry because he thought he could and should make every play,” said Panthers wideout Steve Smith. “He has to realize you cant do it all yourself. As you get older in this game, you see how everybody has to do their job and how there are so many plays in a game that affect the outcome. As a competitor, you want the ball in your hands and the end to make the play, but you can’t do it all in football. You have to give other people a chance to make a play for you, to help you out.”
Newton agreed with Smith’s assessment, saying, “When things are going wrong, I wanted to have the ball in my hand, just like any warrior, any competitor who has played this game, when you don’t get the results you want.”
“Cam is not a bad teammate,” said tight end Greg Olson. “He’s just a young guy learning how tough this game can be.”
After breaking almost every rookie passing record with no OTA’s or Training Camp, there is a feeling around Panthers camp that this year could be something special.
“My fingers are crossed and my knees are on the floor every night just praying and just demanding that people watch the show and see what happens this year,” Newton said. “Just watch the show.”