Last year Cam Newton burst onto the scene with an amazing rookie campaign, and many doubted he was capable of a sophomore slump. Well not only is Newton in the midst of such a slump, but he’s acting less like an NFL quarterback and more like Jay Cutler with the only difference being Jay Cutler is somehow winning at the moment.
Newton is the subject of criticism following not only his loss against the Dallas Cowboys but his comments following the game where he stops literally centimeters short of calling for a coaching change of some sort in Carolina. Then again, like all things in the media, Newton’s comments are grave if you spin them that way as many no doubt will.
To his credit, before his rant, Newton did say he needs to improve and that there should be no finger pointing in the locker room after the loss — but then he pointed fingers in a way.
“It’s the same script, same director and it’s getting kind of boring.” Newton said following a performance that saw him throw for 222 yards and just one touchdown.
But Newton wasn’t done with that little blurb, he went off in a controlled temper tantrum that will no doubt be making the rounds all week long and will serve as fuel for those who are wishing for the young star to fail. Newton was doing fine until a question on whether or not the Panthers are taking all the chances they can was asked and Newton went off.
“We’ve had ample opportunities. … and I sound like a broken record [but] this taste, this vibe and I’m not buying it, man, and I don’t know what it is but something is going to have to change and change real fast in order to make that next step because it’s the same old thing, same old thing.”
Then a reporter tried to call Newton on his comments, stating that after the Panthers beat the Saints in Week 2, Newton proclaimed that the vibe in Carolina had changed and that he was all for it.
“Well everybody’s looking at it, it’s not just me. [We] try to find ways to keep games close and whether it’s me, I don’t know. Whether it’s the coordinator, I don’t know. …but we’ve got to find a way to change that.” Newton said. “Instead of a game that’s close, I’m looking for a game that we put up 35 points and whether it’s the execution, you can point out a lot of things that are leading to us being defeated but this is not it.”
If you’re confused as to where Newton was trying to go with this press conference, you’re not alone. But when Newton was asked why there was a lack of run attempts when the Panthers had 1st and Goal at the Cowboys 5, Newton’s reply was concise.
“I’m not the playcaller.” he said after flailing his arms a bit. “I’m speaking for [Offensive Coordinator Mike Chudzinski] but you’ve to to have a balanced offense. The running game hasn’t been as exciting as we want it to be but you still have got to call those plays.”
All of this will blow over when Carolina starts to win games, but because Cam Newton is who he is, people will latch onto this story for different reasons than the person next to them. Newton’s young and talented and he clearly doesn’t like losing. The fact that veteran and locker room voice Steve Smith has called out Newton in the recent past for his sulking and bad attitude will be cited ad nauseum this week.
Newton’s comments, like all comments made by athletes in the heat of the moment, is and will be open to interpretation until Newton takes another snap next Sunday.