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December 21, 2011

Teammates tell Cam Newton to be more positive

If Cam Newton seemed more upbeat during the Panthers' 28-13 win at Houston last week, it was not by accident.

The rookie quarterback said he tried to improve his body language and keep his negative emotions in check after offensive linemen Jordan Gross and Ryan Kalil talked to him about it before the game.

Newton, who has drawn criticism for hanging his towel-covered head on the sideline after bad series, was more animated against the Texans. After Houston cut the Panthers' 21-point lead to 8 in the second half, Newton came into the huddle and was encouraging his offensive teammates.

The Panthers proceeded to go on an 80-yard touchdown drive to increase their lead back to 15, then ran out the clock with five first downs on a final drive that consumed more than seven minutes.

Newton referred to Gross and Kalil as the “real heroes,” and said their words made an impact on him.

“They always get on me – I have a bad tendency of showing my emotions on my face. I have to change it, and I'm trying to change it. But those guys constantly stay in my ear, saying, 'You've got to be that same leader from the first quarter to the last quarter.'

“And with them saying that, just that little statement that was said right before the game, it made me mindful it can be somewhat of a detrimental conduct to the team. If you're mad. If you're ticked off. Not saying that everybody else is not feeling the same way you (are). But at the quarterback position, you have to stay even-keeled.”

Newton addressed the team at halftime when the Panthers led 21-0. But he felt he had to say something more after another third-quarter lull threatened to send the Panthers to a disappointing defeat.

“The game was something that we've seen all too many times – start off fast, start off blazing hot. And we get up and go into halftime and come back very lethargic, as if we needed a jump-start,” Newton said. “The first series three-and-out, second series stall, third series – and it was like, 'All right, guys ...'”

Gross said this week he likes Newton better now as a quarterback than he did when he opened the season with back-to-back, 400-yard passing games. Gross said Newton no longer feels he has to do everything for the Panthers to be successful.

Newton said he agreed with Gross' assessment, and has tried to have more fun during games the way Gross, Steve Smith and Jeremy Shockey do.

“Those guys bring the fun to the game. And I kind of got sidetracked from that a couple times this year,” Newton said. “But like I said, you've got to stay even-keeled, especially at the quarterback position.”

 --Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on December 21, 2011 at 03:38 PM | Permalink


I'm about 90% sure that the texans game was the turning point for this team.

And if they completly dismantle Tampa saturday I will be 100% sure.

Posted by: cheese | Dec 21, 2011 3:49:37 PM

Its great to see a star rising in front of us, but its even better seeing Cam grow into a man in front of our eyes. Cam is not going to be just a great quarterback he is going to be a great 'man'.

Posted by: Ritchie | Dec 21, 2011 4:02:03 PM

low life pos

Posted by: z | Dec 21, 2011 4:16:43 PM

"Z" how retarded are you? Are you semi retarded, or are you full retard? You know you're not supposed to go full retard, right?

Anyway, Cam Newton is the man! Can't wait for next season. Lots more wonderful highlights and playoffs finally. Been a while since we've been in the playoffs, that's for sure!

Posted by: el | Dec 21, 2011 4:38:09 PM

I remember my first job out of college. It took one to get used to working with real responsibilities and that was just an entry level position. People have to grow and mature and it's great to see that in Cam. He genuinely wants to improve and he seems to be bettering himself as a player and a person. I hope he's with us in Charlotte for a long, long time.

Posted by: NickWebster | Dec 21, 2011 4:39:33 PM

What causes the lull in the 3rd quarter? Is Rivera so boring at halftime that these guys come out half asleep?

Posted by: DNYCE | Dec 21, 2011 4:42:57 PM

now only if kalil and Gross could go to chicago and give my ex girlfriend that pep talk and the world would be a better place.


its a character trait that "winners have". If you have had the pleasure of experiencing one of these hyper driven people - when things are not moving right - its completely and totally draining. Worst thing ive ever had to go through.


Posted by: nick | Dec 21, 2011 4:47:44 PM

Anybody still bashing Cam, please turn in your Panther's gear.

Cam's doing everything that he can be asked to do and more. He's a rookie and he seems to be learning more each game. If you insist on criticing him, you need to understand that you are going to have to give specific, valid, current reasons... if all you can do is hurl epithets... you are just going to sound like an idiot.

Posted by: John - Harrisburg, NC | Dec 21, 2011 4:52:52 PM

i think some poeple just like to put stuff on boards to stir things up - ignore "Z"..

Cam is a solid player and is showing he is a great leader. Keep in mind Cam did play under Urban Myer and was mentored by Tim Tebow. I think Cam has a better arm than Tebow and should end up having a better career - but - I do think Cam learned some things from Tebow.

Posted by: Dirt | Dec 21, 2011 5:07:18 PM

I'd like to go ahead and agree with post #1, cheese! If they can come out and sustain that energy and intesity they play with in the 1st quarter, it'll be hard to beat the Panthers.

Posted by: Mike P | Dec 21, 2011 5:12:47 PM

And to think...there was a huge number of "fans" (used loosely) that demanded we draft Fairley or Gabbert or Peterson and responded with outrage that Cam was chosen. Many claimed "I will never attend another Panthers game as long as Cam Newton is the QB".

I hope those ppl stuck to their word bc the Panthers tix are going to be a hot commodity in the future! More for us REAL FANS!!

The guy is in his rookie season, still a kid himself and learning on the job in front of millions of ppl...has EXCEEDED what most of the "experts" predicted him to be...4,000yds passing + 500yds rushing WOW!

Posted by: Bobcat Terry | Dec 21, 2011 5:30:20 PM

"I do think Cam learned some things from Tebow."

Seriously? Haha, when have you EVER heard Tebow ever talk about Cam, and vice versa. When has Cam ever thanked Tebow for 'mentoring' him, EVER?

They were casual acquaintances, maybe, and far from joined at the hip at Florida.

Good for Cam for getting his life back on track since then, and good for Tebow that he's having success at the NFL level, but let's not get carried away saying either one mentored the other.

Posted by: MikeW | Dec 21, 2011 5:31:12 PM

Yes, they showed a close up of Newtown during the game when he went into the huttle for the 80 yard drive. He was pulling the offense around him and commanding his troops. That is something a real leader does is motivate and give them a sense that he believes in them and they should believe in him.

Posted by: Anthony | Dec 21, 2011 5:33:02 PM

I love this team.....Our QB, our TE's, our RB's, our Offensive Line, our one WR. When our defense gets on track and when we finally get an NFL kicker in here, the sky will be the limit for us.

Posted by: Smitty | Dec 21, 2011 5:45:32 PM

Mike P, thanks for calling me out, I was one of the fans that did not want Cam. I was so wrong about him, I wake up at 2 and 3 am to watch them in Okinawa now, last year I would not do that, but this year I feel they have a chance in every game. I can not help but wonder if we did not have so many injuries on defense how many more wins would they have gotten.

Posted by: GyHighway | Dec 21, 2011 5:49:21 PM

safe to say that it's triple trouble now?

newton, williams, stewart combine for 1920 yards through 14 games good for a 137.14 yards per game average. and 5.04 per carry. and the team is 5th best in the nfl.

stewart and williams at their best:
2008 - 146.94 per game, 5.14/carry
2009 - 140.63 per game, 5.15/carry

in a supposedly pass happy offense, their getting the same kind of production as always on the ground. if they manage to combine this with more ball control, improve the defense by getting guys like beason and edwards back, draft defense and offensive line......

this team is going to win A LOT over the next 5 years. and yall idiots are calling for hurney to get fired. incredible.

btw, steve smith is on pace for top 5 all-time by age 35. start making his statue.

Posted by: charlottean | Dec 21, 2011 6:02:49 PM

First off, ignore the haters on here, they just want people to respond to their nonsense. And that is all it is.
I am glad we got Cam, I wasn't 100% on him at first but he has been above and beyond what I think most anyone thought he would be as a rookie.
This season is mostly over and we wont make the playoffs, but next year we have a lot to look forward to. Plus, there will be more free agents willing to sign here now that we have some talent under center.

Posted by: uncarunr | Dec 21, 2011 6:10:03 PM

It would be nice to see Cam pass Manning rookie record, hit 4,000 yards passing and pass Steve Beuerlein single season panther record, all in one home game against Tampa! Smith passes Moose for receptions! Stewart passes Foster for second all time for Panthers rushing and get a couple of catches for Panther Rb receptions for a season! Cam only QB ever to pass for 4,000 and rush for 500 ever! Ever! Hopefully the Saints will need to win game in final week! Beating the Saints at their dome when they need to win! That's a message for next season!

Posted by: joe cool | Dec 21, 2011 6:16:57 PM

Newton sucks!

Posted by: tony | Dec 21, 2011 7:02:21 PM

Well said, Ritchie !

Posted by: nasty704 | Dec 21, 2011 7:39:41 PM

So does your moma!

Posted by: pti300 | Dec 21, 2011 8:43:47 PM

Watching the close-up of Cam as he walks to the line on our first driver every game shows a very poised, comfortable QB. I've never seen a more confident QB look from anybody when they break huddle for their first drive.

Posted by: Jellybean | Dec 21, 2011 10:53:29 PM

I'm glad that Cam and others are finally acknowledging his downcast, negative expressions late in games when the team has struggled. I could care less about the towel on the head, but have never like the way Cam has a beaten/frustrated look on his face when he should be firing people up. That shows maturity on his part that he's willing to take feedback from his veteran O-lineman.

Posted by: D | Dec 21, 2011 11:45:19 PM

Maybe Cam did pick up some intangibles from Tebow. Obviously, Tebow didn't reciprocate by picking up any quarterbacking skills from Cam...

Posted by: ZLee | Dec 22, 2011 5:02:26 AM

These 5-9 loser chumps win one game against 3rd stringers in Houston resting their starters and think they are in the Super Bowl with their scamming thief liar criminal half ass TE posing as a QB.

No playoffs. No Super Bowl. Your chump dumb crook SUX.






Posted by: red tide says newton sux | Dec 22, 2011 5:57:45 AM

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