Panthers quarterback Cam Newton had perhaps the best rookie season for any quarterback in NFL history last year, but he’s not satisfied. In fact, Newton says that with a full offseason of work, he’ll be significantly better in 2012 than he was in 2011.
“With reviewing all the games from last year, I feel that the improvement is through the roof for me,” Newton told the Associated Press on Saturday. “I’ve had the whole offseason to work on the things that I feel like I need to get better at [and that] will come into fruition. With the upcoming OTAs, I feel like that’s another time for me to get better.”
Newton said one of the reason he’s optimistic about his future is that receiver Steve Smith has signed a contract extension that will keep him in Carolina for years to come.
“Having him back is a big thing for not only me as my whole evolution is going to change — to have his leadership there — but for the whole team,” Newton said. “We need Smitty not for what he does at the receiver position but for the leader that he is, how much he holds everybody accountable. I’m excited for him.”
If Newton is right about how much he’s going to improve, Smith should be excited. And so should Panthers fans.