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Cam Newton was reportedly a ‘big source of frustration’ for Steve Smith

Steve Smith RavensAt age 35, Steve Smith is on pace for the best statistical season of his career. He will likely slow down a bit going forward, but it seems like Smith has discovered the fountain of youth with the Baltimore Ravens. Has getting away from Cam Newton helped him?

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported on Sunday that Smith was not a big believer in Newton during his time with the Carolina Panthers.

“From what I understand, Cam Newton was a big source of frustration for Steve Smith,” Rapoport said on NFL Gameday Morning. “In fact, he told close friends he doesn’t believe Cam Newton sees the field at all, specifically in the red zone. What Steve Smith told friends is that Cam Newton doesn’t think fast enough or isn’t precise enough to succeed in the red zone.”

While we don’t know how true that is, we do know that Smith could not have been more motivated against his former team on Sunday. He hauled in a 62-yard touchdown catch on a tipped pass early in the second quarter and finished with seven receptions for 139 yards and two touchdowns.

[Related: Steve Smith says he is going to 'smash' receiving record]

As Rapoport noted, Newton has only completed 44% of his passes in the red zone since 2011. A lot of that might have to do with the fact that running is more difficult in the NFL, and he did a lot of scrambling in the red zone at Auburn.

Through four games, Smith seems to be Joe Flacco’s most trusted target. If he can stay healthy, there’s no reason he can’t have a great season.

Cam Newton looked very pretty during postgame interview

Cam-Newton-leggings

Cam Newton wasn’t able to do enough to lead the Carolina Panthers to victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night, but he didn’t let the loss affect his postgame wardrobe. Newton still made sure he looked very, very pretty.

Newton made quite the fashion statement with some black leggings (or were those capris?) and classy loafers. He also rocked a sport coat that had just a hint of pink or purple. It wasn’t loud enough that you needed sunglasses to look at him, but it was definitely a statement piece.

Dwyane Wade might be one of the few people who truly understands Newton.

Photo: Twitter/Black and Blue Review
H/T The Big Lead

Cam Newton trying to stay away from Donkey Kong Suh (Video)

Cam Newton decided to have a little fun at his press conference on Wednesday ahead of the Carolina Panthers’ game against the Detroit Lions.

Newton went semi-Arian Foster and repeated the same response (or a similar variation of it) to many of the questions he received.

“My main focus is on the Detroit Lions. I got my hands full trying to stay protected from Donkey Kong Suh and my former Auburn teammate, Nick Fairley,” Newton said in response to five of the 27 questions he was asked.

You may recall that Foster gave an interview in July where he answered each question the same say, saying he was just trying to be a good teammate. Of course, the originator of this style is Rasheed Wallace.

Oh, and I’m sure you could already figure it out, but “Donkey Kong Suh” is a version of Ndamukong Suh’s name mashed up with the famous video game, “Donkey Kong.” The nickname has been used for years.

Donkey Kong Suh

Video via Bro Bible
Photo: Twitter/Jesse Zakshesky

Cam Newton: Criticism of Panthers WRs is insult to me and them

Cam NewtonThe Carolina Panthers’ wide receivers have been criticized for being one of the worst and thinnest personnel groups in football.

The criticism seemed warranted after Steve Smith, Brandon LaFell, Ted Ginn Jr. and Domenik Hixon all left in free agency (or were cut by Carolina). Sure, the Panthers would have Cam Newton to throw the ball, but who would be there to catch it? Newton knows all about those questions.

“The elephant in the room has already been stated,” Newton said via the Charlotte Observer. “Those guys have already accepted the challenge. You don’t have to go in there and tell those guys, ‘Hey, you’re projected the sorriest receiver (group) in the NFL.’ We already know.”

Newton says the criticism will motivate the group.

“But with that, those guys already have that fire in their eyes. I would rather those guys be like that and for them to go out there and bust their tails like they’ve been doing. It’s kind of like a slap in–not only their face–but my face as well. The things that have been said, the reports, who cares? Because at the end of the day, we will be ready to play football, and Carolina Panthers football. Hard-nosed, and everybody’s going to have to do their job.”

The Panthers have attempted to rebuild the group. They drafted Kelvin Benjamin out of Florida State in the first round, and they signed Jerricho Cotchery, Jason Avant and Tiquan Underwood. It’s by no stretch an awesome group, but at least it might be passable now, especially depending on how Benjamin does. And at least they have Greg Olsen at tight end. Even though Newton says it’s an insult to him to criticize their wide receivers, I disagree. People recognize they don’t have a lot of talent and that has nothing to do with him. But we appreciate the leadership he’s showing through those comments.

Cam Newton to undergo ankle surgery, miss four months

Cam-Newton-touchdownThe Carolina Panthers have had a rough offseason thus far, and it got even worse on Tuesday when the team announced that Cam Newton is scheduled to undergo ankle surgery this week.

Newton is expected to need four months to recover, meaning he should be ready by the time training camp rolls around. Still, the news is far from ideal for a team that has already lost its top two receivers, Steve Smith and Brandon LaFell, via salary cap casualty and free agency. Having Newton healthy and at full strength for the start of the season will be critical for Carolina.

Newton has been experiencing soreness in his ankle since the season ended, and the team was waiting to see if it would subside on its own.

“We wanted to see if rest would calm it down, but it is still bothering him and the decision was made to address it,” Panthers head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion said.

Carolina now has an injured quarterback, no legitimate receiving options, injury prone running backs, a questionable offensive line, and just $8 million in cap space. The front office has a ton of work to do in the coming months.

Colin Kaepernick and Cam Newton try to sing Katy Perry’s ‘Roar’ (Video)

Colin-Kaepernick-Cam-Newton-singingColin Kaepernick and Cam Newton hosted Cartoon Network’s “Hall of Game Awards” on Monday night. The NFL stars seemed to have a great time doing it, especially when they took the stage surrounded by kids and showed off their singing skills.

When we say “singing skills,” we really mean lack thereof. Newton and Kaepernick each took a turn singing a version of Katy Perry’s “Roar” and inserted their team name into the chorus. While we commend them for doing it for the children, we’re obligated to note that they have to be easily two of the worst singers in professional sports.

Please let that be a once-in-a-lifetime thing.

Video via TMZ

Did First Take manipulate postgame video clip to make Cam Newton look bad?

Cam Newton postgameDid ESPN manipulate a clip of Cam Newton speaking in his postgame press conference on Sunday to make him look bad? It sure seems like it.

While watching “SportsNation” on ESPN Monday, I saw a video clip of Newton answering a question about Colin Kaepernick mocking him by doing the Superman celebration. The clip played on “First Take” earlier in the day, and it also aired on “SportsNation.”

In the clip, Newton is asked whether Kaepernick doing the Superman celebration bothered him.

“That’s not the first nor will it be the last time somebody does that,” Newton said.

Cam then said “umm” and “but” and was looking to see if anyone else had a question. It sounded like someone — most likely a PR director — said “thank you” to let Newton know he was excused and could leave. So Cam walked off the podium.

The way the clip was presented, it seemed like Cam walked out of the interview because he didn’t like the question about Kaepernick doing the celebration and that he was being a poor sport. But if you watch Cam’s entire postgame news conference on the Panthers website, you’ll see that that was the last question of a 10-minute long presser. Newton gave thoughtful, detailed comments to the reporters and was congratulatory of the Niners. He gave a fine postgame media session for someone whose season ended.

If that edited clip from ESPN lacking context was the only clip of Cam you saw, you probably walked away with the impression that Newton was bitter and has a bad attitude. In reality, he behaved in the completely opposite manner.