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September 21, 2012

Smith gets on Newton for his sideline sulking

In the final minutes of the Panthers' 36-7 loss to the Giants on Thursday, veteran wideout Steve Smith lit into quarterback Cam Newton on the sideline and told him to get off the bench and stop sulking.

After Newton threw his third interception with 6:36 remaining in the game, backup quarterback Derek Anderson began warming up on the sideline. Anderson came in with about a minute left for the final series.

I watched D.A. and Jimmy (Clausen), they don't play in 20-something games last year. And they get up and they observe and learn and get those mental reps,” Smith said. “I told him, 'You can get some mental reps or you can sit on that bench and sulk.'”

Smith, a team captain, said he used some “unchoice words” with Newton, who was criticized last year for putting a towel over his head and sitting on the bench at the end of losses.

This is the second time in as many seasons the Panthers' captains have talked to Newton about his demeanor. Offensive linemen Jordan Gross and Ryan Kalil took Newton aside last year and said he needed to bring more positive energy to the huddle.

Newton was not available for comment Friday. A team spokesman said he would be available on Wednesday, per the team's normal policy with Newton.

Smith said he's more concerned about Newton's development as a person than as a leader. But Smith knows how important Newton is to the organization.

Cam Newton has a very unique opportunity to be a franchise quarterback to an organization that needs one,” Smith said. “Statistics don't lie. Athletic quarterbacks, they either excel or they fail. And I told Cam that.

This is an opportunity for him to learn – at that time they were benching him – and observe. They put D.A. in. You can sit there, if this is the worst is going to get you're in for a long day and this is not what it's about.”

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he handles Newton in his own way, and believes questions about his leadership will be moot when the team starts winning.

As for Smith's exchange with Newton, Rivera said: "He’s a team captain and he went up and expressed his feelings. That’s between them. I do know that team captains have that responsibility. They feel they have the responsibilities to the team and they’ll handle them accordingly."

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on September 21, 2012 at 12:58 PM | Permalink



This article explains it all. I have been saying this for years. Hurney has no business calling the shots for an NFL team. Jerry Richardson has lost his mind.

Posted by: Steven | Sep 21, 2012 1:05:08 PM

Why is it that not a single reporter at this paper has ever put out anything like this? 10 years with Hurney and nothing to show for it. Start doing your job, Scott, Joe, Tom, etc.

Posted by: Steven | Sep 21, 2012 1:06:37 PM

Here's my humble perspective from section 255: kudos to the Giants. Even their banged up squad played like World Champs. They're an elite team; we are not. We showed the world why McDermott was fired in Philly; why Nakamura couldn't make the 1st string in Baltimore; why Joe Adams was available, and why Coach Fox benched Chris Gamble. I paid over $230 for tix, parking & concessions--I can't get a refund for last nights debacle. But Mr. Richardson, if we can't beat ATL with 10 days prep time, if I were you, I'd start demanding some of my money back. Please fix this mess. Thank you.

Posted by: CarolinaGurl | Sep 21, 2012 1:08:34 PM

As an Auburn fan, I obviously enjoy watching Cam in the NFL, but for a leader and the franchise's most visible player, sulking and pouting is not an option. Cam can handle game adversity like the Peyton Mannings and Aaron Rodgers' of the world or like the Jay Cutlers and the Ryan Leafs of the world...

Posted by: Brandon | Sep 21, 2012 1:11:10 PM

That is called biggest blooper of the day. Smith said he's more concerned about Newton's development as a person than as a leader. But Smith knows how important Smith is to the organization.

Posted by: Jerry Jones | Sep 21, 2012 1:11:11 PM

Cam was not upset because of the loss, he waqs upset because he didn't come off in a good light for the TV. He cares less about wins or losses, only how many times he can have his smile on the tube. THANK GOD we only have to put up with his tripe for another couple of seasons before he bolts or is out of the league.

Posted by: Joe Mamma | Sep 21, 2012 1:18:05 PM

Look at other quarterbacks on the sidelines and what are they doing, talking to off. coordinators, studying images and skeems....Cam sits on the bench and sulks and pouts. Grow up Cam....and drop the Superman deal...you look stupid when it's 26-7....

Posted by: Heywood_Jablowme | Sep 21, 2012 1:24:09 PM

He is such a baby and he finally got his chance to show it last night in the national spotlight.

Posted by: Mike | Sep 21, 2012 1:25:12 PM

Hey Cam, only I can do celebrations when we are getting blown out. I have that trademarked. You will hear from my lawyers.

Posted by: Fred Lane | Sep 21, 2012 1:25:38 PM

Cam needs to get that Gatorade towel off of his head as well as stopping his self promoting " Superman" act. You're getting your butt handed to you 23-0, he scores a meaningless touchdown and starts that crap!!! How much of a thug can you be???

Posted by: TONY CHERRY | Sep 21, 2012 1:26:37 PM

We're lucky to have a player like Smith, kudos to him for saying what needed to be said. Thanks Steve

Posted by: Deezy | Sep 21, 2012 1:28:47 PM

Steven--because if you blast management, you lose access. Simple as that in the world of this franchise.

Posted by: scratchy1 | Sep 21, 2012 1:31:46 PM

Scratchy, how so true. I have been saying this for years. The "YesMen" at the C.O. are nothing more than a marketing arm for the team. They will NEVER askthe hard question or ruffel the slightest feather for fear of losing their buffet line pass. Pathetic and bush league. Much like Cam's celebration last night.

Posted by: Fred Lane | Sep 21, 2012 1:35:53 PM

Where are all the Cam apologists today? Every week yall scream about how good he is and how it is always the other teamates faults during a loss. This one was squarely on Cam's shoulders.

Posted by: Too Short | Sep 21, 2012 1:37:13 PM

I think every one needs to relax cam is a young kid and probably been given everything he has wanted because people just wanted to be around him when he made it big. It's hard to grow up when everyone around you is a yes man. If I was his father I would slap him up side the head and tell him to shut up a watch how the real champs act.

Posted by: Bryan | Sep 21, 2012 1:38:02 PM

Steve Smith hit the nail on the head. Cam Newton is a very talented athlete, but not a great quarterback at this time. His main problem is his lack of professionalism.The sulking with the towel on his head has got to go. The "Superman" gesture in the endzone, when you are throwing interceptions and getting your butt kicked, makes him look like an arrogant (It's all about ME) individual. Hopefully he will grow up real soon or we will be calling him Vince Young II.

Posted by: Ken | Sep 21, 2012 1:38:27 PM

Steve Smith always seems to attack people who look like him. Interesting. Jake Delhomme? Nothing. Jimmy Clausen . Not a word to him . Steve Smith just imploded this team . Take mental reps when the backups are in the game?

Posted by: ToldyaCam | Sep 21, 2012 1:39:56 PM

Brian, his father is the reason he is the way he is.

Posted by: Blah | Sep 21, 2012 1:40:23 PM

@ Steven - good post, and agreed - the bigger issue is that Hurney is a bad GM.

To the people blasting Cam - you will be wearing his jersey next week singing his praises when he wins. Seriously, STFU - most if not all of you are the fickle fans we can do without.

Posted by: manu4t | Sep 21, 2012 1:40:29 PM

Every time comming off the field --- touchdown, field goal or four and out Eli was standing or sitting going over game plan or looking at stills of the action.
Cam after doing a superman pose while still down by two scores goes to bench, puts a towel on his head and sits and looks uninterested. Just another talented spoiled college star that can't lead an NFL team (jamarkus russel --- vince young)
Tell cam to watch andrew luck or rg3 since he won;t be playing sunday and see how they do it.

Posted by: b carter | Sep 21, 2012 1:44:14 PM

I lived in the same building with Newton for about a year. Take it to the bank: the man is a jerk.

Posted by: HiRizeGuy | Sep 21, 2012 1:45:03 PM

Cam should have told Steve Smith to quit acting like he made the most spectacular catch in the world every time he catches the ball. Especially when you are down so much in the fourth. Last time I checked he gets paid to catch the ball, act like you been there before. #89 is a great player, could the best in Panther history, but he is last person to question someone's leadership.

Posted by: 2legit | Sep 21, 2012 1:48:44 PM

Listen up Hammer, Steve has EARNED the right to call him out. Cam has not earned a thing in his entire life. He is a puzzy. Can't touch that!

Posted by: 2livecru | Sep 21, 2012 1:51:21 PM

Nothing about this is new. Newton has never had to rally a team around him, because he has always been able to do it all himself (and still believes he can.) Mr. Newton, there is a HUGE difference between taking it all on yourself and being a leader. Once upon a time, Jake Delhomme walked into a huddle down 17-0 on the road, and he told his teammates "Let's roll." Not, "I got this," or "Ya'll watch me," or anything else. Newton will never be able to hold a candle to Delhomme's success as a WINNER, because he does not grasp that concept.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Sep 21, 2012 1:55:18 PM

Our entire team with the lone exception of Olsen acted like a bunch of thugsters last night. Steve Smith, our alleged leader, gesticulates and acts like a clown on every single catch he makes. No one cares Steve. Our defense makes a stop when we are already down by double digits and they preen and pose and posture like it was something important. Cam does the idiotic superman thing after a pointless touchdown.

All the Giants did was win with class. Eli never made any ridiculous gyrations. They ran over us until it hurt to watch. Their passing was precision.

I've had it with out gang of self centered losers. Act like a team.

Posted by: Doug | Sep 21, 2012 2:06:03 PM

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