Teammate advises Panthers’ Cam Newton to stop sulking
Charlotte, NC, United States (4E Sports) – Carolina Panthers receiver and team captain Steve Smith has advised quarterback Cam Newton to stop sulking after a bad game as it negatively affects his image as leader and the team as well.
“I watched Derek Anderson 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 gave Newton a positive earful when the quarterback sat dejected on the bench after his poor performance against New York Giants where he threw three interceptions. Newton completed just 16 of 30 passes for 242 and ran for the Panthers’ only score in a 36-7 loss to the Giants.
“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 Derek Anderson 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,” Smith added.
It was not the first time that Newton has been called out by teammates for his demeanor during games where the Panthers were losing.
Last year, offensive linemen Jordan Gross and Ryan Kalil advised Newton to keep his head up amid imperfect situations after he was seen several times with a towel over his head and sitting on the bench at end of losses.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he has no problem with Smith talking to Newton about his leadership skills.
“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,” Rivera said.
Rivera believes that questions regarding Newton’s leadership will all be gone once the Panthers start winning.