In his rookie season, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was among the league’s brightest stars, but a sophomore slump and the success of a number of other young quarterbacks in the league has overshadowed what Newton has been able to accomplish. His rookie season seemed to be historic, but then Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson and Robert Griffin III burst on to the scene, not to mention the late success of Colin Kaepernick last season.
Newton has previously been criticized for being immature, but he is not getting upset by the attention his fellow young signal-callers are receiving. Instead, he is looking at their success as motivation.
“I’m a fan of those guys. Colin Kaepernick, I got an opportunity to know him well; we were roommates at the Combine when we were coming out. RG3, he’s won the Heisman. Andrew Luck – those guys came in this league and took it by storm. Am I envious? No. If anything it challenges me to get better and just remember about this league that if you’re not getting better, you’re getting forgotten,” Newton said on NFL Network.
“So for this whole offseason I’ve been challenging myself, one, to lose weight, two, to become not a stronger player but a smarter player. That’s one thing I’ve been focusing on with our quarterback coach Ken Dorsey and offensive coordinate Mike Shula. Those guys have been helping me progressing in those different areas.”
Newton went on to talk about how he believed the Panthers could go out and win the NFC South this season.
It is a lofty goal, but in the NFL you can never count anything out.
If Newton can find motivation from his fellow young quarterbacks and play up to their level, the Panthers would certainly have a better shot to win the title, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. They could very well beat out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who enter the season with too much hype, but the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints are just too good.