If Cam Newton’s NFL rookie success doesn’t surprise you, you should probably apply for a job as an NFL scout and talent evaluator. Yes, there were people who knew Newton had potential and envisioned him becoming a solid NFL starter. But very few — if any — believed his transition would happen this quickly. Newton is not only making plays with his legs like he did at Auburn, he’s also making throws. Just ask Steve Smith, who has enjoyed a rebirth since Newton took over as the starter.
With the Panthers touting a 2-7 record and having lost several close games, Newton has not tried to hide the fact that he is upset with the way the season has gone. In particular, a 30-3 loss to the Titans did not sit well with Newton, who has been accused of being a sore loser because of the way he has reacted after losses.
“Rookie, no rookie, it doesn’t matter,” he said on Wednesday. “If you’re on the Carolina Panthers, it doesn’t matter what your experience level is, it’s not acceptable.”
Newton has taken a particular liking to the word “embarrassing.” As a Panthers fan, I would want to know my players feel humiliated when they get blown out and win only two out of nine games. They’re not getting paid to lose. Cam seems to have a genuine understanding of that, which should be seen as a positive.
“If we bring that same mentality (against the Lions) that we brought last week we’re going to get busted in the mouth,” Newton said. “This is a physical team, down after down. They have an arsenal. They get after the quarterback and wreak havoc. And if you don’t play at that level or higher you’re going to get beat.”
There are plenty of things to criticize Newton for. We’re all well aware of the scandal that surrounded his college career, but given some of the things that were said about him during the offseason Panthers fans should welcome the winning mentality. Plenty of rookies would be content with starting and playing at a high level during their first season, regardless of the team results. Newton wants to be a part of a winning franchise, and there aren’t many negative things you can say about that.Google+