A lot has been said about Cam Newton’s mental state this season. After lighting up the stat sheet and breaking a number of records as a rookie last season, Newton has taken a step back this year and the Panthers have followed. A Carolina team that many thought had a legitimate shot to make the playoffs is off to a 1-4 start, and many wonder if Newton’s head being in the wrong place has contributed to that.
According to the Charlotte Observer, the former No. 1 overall pick spent part of the bye week trying to clear his mind by having fun. Newton says he visited a haunted house, rode go-carts, went to see a move and played “a lot of video games.” He also spent time with his father, Cecil, whom he says helped him gain a greater appreciation for what he does for a living.
“God gives only a few people opportunities like this and it’s easy for people to take it for granted,” Newton said. “It gave me time to reflect and appreciate this lovely, wonderful game that I play.
“I think it’s a big challenge for everybody to see what we can do because everything is still possible. The season is far (from) a wash. It’s time for us to prove it. There’s a lot of expectations going into this season. And for us to get the vibe going and pick up the vibe for this whole season, it’s just going to have to start this game.”
Newton’s father has said his son needs to change his postgame behavior, and that’s tough to argue with. Anything less than an 8-8 record in 2012 would be a major disappointment for the Panthers after they finished 6-10 last season. If they want to get to .500, Carolina needs to turn it around immediately coming off the bye week. Better play and leadership from Newton will be crucial in accomplishing that.
Chest bump to Deadspin
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