Five things Cam Newton must change
Carolina Panthers fans that have found their way to this story, please do not take this piece the wrong way. I agree with you that you have perhaps the most dynamic in the game today.
But for all of his physical tools that come complete with the electric smile, there elements of Cam Newton that if they are allowed to fester will hold your team down until he figures some of it out.
#1 He Needs To Stop Pouting When Things Go Wrong
To be sure that this point was 10000000-percent on target, I went back and watched a lot of 2011 footage from various Panthers defeats. I also went back and peeked at the two games that Carolina has lost this year.
The fact is that when the going gets tough, Newton isolates himself on the bench with a Gatorade towel over his head as he smacks his gum like a three-year old that’s in timeout.
As the quarterback of his team, his body language sends a message to all that are involved.
#2 He Needs To Drop The Superman Celebration When The Panthers Are Losing
Miraculous comebacks or severe beat downs makes that show worth watching.
In those moments, he’s earned the right to transform into whatever superhero he wants to be.
Hell, he and Steve Smith can slap on a couple of decoder rings, bump fists and say ‘ Wonder Twins power activate,’ if they so choose.
But to celebrate when you are getting your tail kicked looks foolish and immature.
It also sends a message that you’re cool with whatever happens as long as you get a score or two on the stats sheet.
#3 He Must Learn How To Lead
Remember the stop pouting point? Good because when a person changes one action they must replace it with another.
Instead of spending the third and fourth quarters all by his lonesome looking like as pitiful as he can be, Newton can fire up his squad, look at defensive snapshots from the booth, talk to his receivers after turnovers and generally do his job.
To be the quarterback that the Panthers are paying him to be, he must learn the lesson that Mike Vick did not figure out until after he went to jail.
Despite being a mobile quarterback with a big arm there are other things that must be done besides figuring out how to get your highlights on the NFL Network.
Until Newton gets this idea down pat and under his skin, he’s really only of service to fantasy football owners and so far this year even they are upset with him.
#4 The Art Of The Comeback Starts With Him
Every Hall of Fame and Super Bowl caliber signal caller has stories to tell for days about the come-from-behind victories that they put together over the course of their career.
How can Newton build that part of his resume when he starts to bug out when the Panthers go down by 14 points or more?
If he is indeed Superman, he will start to view himself as the servant leader that is there to help Steve Smith end his career with greatness. He will understand that he has a chance to make Brandon LaFell the next great Panthers receiver. It will sink in that DeAngelo Williams will only go as far as his next checkout down or audible will take him.
In short, Cam will forget about Cam and only worry about others.
#5 He Must Become A Student Of The Game
Newton’s game is still rooted in his god-given ability. He naturally can see the field, make pretty good decisions and create magic with his feet.
Those things come natural for him.
So how dangerous would he be if elevated the cerebral nature of his game?
If he has, he is not putting it on tape because there is so much more that he can do to manipulate safeties, change the pre-snap tempo at the line of scrimmage and generally keep defenses uncomfortable.
The season is still early, but Cam looks to be settling with the sticking with what got him here and not pushing for a higher level of play.