Despite compiling otherworldly statistics and making the 2011 Pro Bowl as a rookie, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton says he was a bad teammate in Charlotte in dire need of maturing under center.
“I was very immature,” said Newton, 23, who the Panthers chose out of Auburn University with the top pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. “I’ll be the first one to tell you, the pouting and the moping, I kind of overdid it. I know that. I was a bad teammate. I shut off to some people who gave unbelievable effort…That’s where I have to mature.”
Granted, with the 2010 Heisman Trophy winner and 2011 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year at the helm, Carolina went 6-10 and finished in third place in the NFC South last autumn.
“Cam was angry because he thought he could and should make every play,” said wide receiver Steve Smith, 33, a three-time All-Pro and six-time Pro Bowl selection.
Perhaps Newton “thought he could and should make every play” because his diligence is apparently the only thing that rivals his skills.
According to multiple reports published during the 2011 NFL lockout, Tim Tebow’s erstwhile backup as a Gator spent in excess of 12 hours on a daily basis preparing for his professional debut at the IMG Madden Football Academy in Bradenton, FL.
Newton’s work ethic enabled him to flourish on the gridiron from the immediate outset of his career.
The native of Georgia exploded during his premier against the Cardinals as he tossed two touchdowns for an astounding 422 yards in a 28–21 road loss to Arizona in Week 1.
Newton, a 2010 Consensus All-American, concluded his inaugural campaign with 21 touchdowns, in comparison to 17 interceptions, for 4,051 yards.
Additionally, the former Tiger ran for 706 yards and 14 scores.
A public relations ploy or not, the mere fact that Newton criticized his performance last autumn is equally puzzling and impressive.
“I’ll be the first one to tell you,” with such a mindset, Cam Newton is already in the midst of forging a Hall of Fame resume in “The Hornet’s Nest.”by