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Cam Newton says he was a bad teammate last year

Cam Newton AP

The biggest debate about Panthers quarterback Cam Newton in recent days has had to do with whether or not he padded his stats by throwing the ball a lot at the end of losses.

Newton hasn’t weighed in on that topic, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t wielding a critical eye when it comes to NFL quarterbacks. The difference between him and Alex Smith is that he’s looking in the mirror when it comes time to level that criticism.

Newton spoke to Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports about what he needs to do better in his second NFL season.  It had nothing to do with throwing for more yards in the first halves of games, something that wouldn’t actually represent much of a change. Newton thinks he needs to be better about letting go when mistakes happen and that he needs to find a new way to interact with his teammates.

“I was very immature,” Newton said. “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.”

Wide receiver Steve Smith, who has had a hard time being the best of teammates in the past, thought Newton was being a bit too hard on himself, but did see places where Newton’s approach could improve. To Smith, Newton tries to put too much on his own shoulders and, going forward, he needs to trust his teammates to make plays more often. That should be easier after a full offseason of working together, although its still a safe bet that Newton will retain his starring role on the Carolina offense.

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38 Responses to “Cam Newton says he was a bad teammate last year”
  1. kingcarlbanks says: May 29, 2012 4:35 PM

    Get this young man some weapons. Give Plax a call.

  2. janobros says: May 29, 2012 4:35 PM

    Cam is growing up to be a man and a leader. If it is more than lip service, that man is going to be a danger in the NFL.

  3. eaglesandravens says: May 29, 2012 4:36 PM

    That should be easier after a full offseason of working together, although its still a safe bet that Newton will retain his starring role on the Carolina offense.

    when was his starting role ever in question?

  4. jjrs89 says: May 29, 2012 4:39 PM

    10-1 that cam newton gets benched by week 2 for jimmy ” the bird” clausen

  5. 91devinhester23 says: May 29, 2012 4:39 PM

    class act

  6. hiltonandastoria says: May 29, 2012 4:41 PM

    Yes he was at times. Glad he knows it and can admit it. Now he will fix it and be even better.
    Scary

  7. dacapt704 says: May 29, 2012 4:46 PM

    The guy is looking to get better in EVERY aspect!! SOOOO GLAD he is our QB!

    Im still waiting to see all the ppl who said he would be a bust las year….. *crickets*

  8. njsteeler says: May 29, 2012 4:46 PM

    Way to take responsibility, Mr. Newton. And he did it without mentioning another man’s name. Take Note, Alex!

  9. jiggybone says: May 29, 2012 4:48 PM

    Im glad he realizes his mistakes because Cam did go a little over board sometimes when he turned the ball over. I believe this is a sign that he’s on the verge of being a better leader.

  10. rajbais says: May 29, 2012 4:51 PM

    Bro, don’t be hard on yourself!!!!

    Just do your thing and try your best to get the Panthers into the playoffs!!!!

  11. pooflingingmonkey says: May 29, 2012 4:51 PM

    Give Newton props for being analytical as opposed to egotistical.

  12. theysone says: May 29, 2012 4:51 PM

    Why take cheap shots at Alex Smith, who has always been the consummate teammate and always taken criticism well?

  13. winskins says: May 29, 2012 4:53 PM

    I’m not a Panthers fan at all, but I have to say this guy impresses me. He’s an amazing athlete, and now that he’s getting used to being famous, seems like there’s a good human being in there too.

  14. TeamBalco says: May 29, 2012 4:55 PM

    This guy might be the Truth!

  15. getadealdonealready says: May 29, 2012 5:03 PM

    I like what he says, and how he thinks, now can he back it up and be a better teammate? I hope so, I’m not a panthers fan, but this guy is fun to watch!

  16. tomnickle says: May 29, 2012 5:09 PM

    I’ve always liked Alex Smith and felt that he got a lot of unfair criticism due to the number of coordinators and coaches he had through his first few years in the league. Having said that, his recent comments make it harder to root for him.

    In reality, when he’s done his career he’ll likely be nothing more than an answer to a trivia question about the team dumb enough to take him ahead of Aaron Rodgers while Cam Newton will be remembered as one of the game’s most versatile quarterbacks.

    Good for Newton for understanding very early on what he needs improvement on and saying the right things. He’s an amazing talent and anything less than a borderline Hall of Fame career will be a disappointment.

  17. newtons2ndlaw says: May 29, 2012 5:12 PM

    Alex Smith’s excuse driven career:

    -Bad team, why they got to draft him #1 overall.
    -Bad coach, no help.
    -New O-Coordinator.
    -New Coach.
    -New O-Coordinator.
    -Antonio Bryant, locker room cancer.
    -New O-Coordinator.
    -Not enough good wide receivers.
    -Shoulder injury.
    -Trent Dilfer.
    -New O-Coordinator.
    -New Coach.
    -Jimmy Raye.
    -Need Offensive Linemen.
    -Conservative play calling.
    -Still no GOOD wide receivers.

    …..meanwhile Cam has already taken responsibility for mildly inappropriate behaviour, during one of the GREATEST rookie campaigns in modern football.

    ………Ya stats don’t matter, LMAO.

  18. mjkelly77 says: May 29, 2012 5:14 PM

    91devinhester23 says:May 29, 2012 4:39 PM

    class act
    ____________

    Oh, it’s an act alright.

  19. CKL says: May 29, 2012 5:20 PM

    Sometimes that happens with guys who have a lot of natural talent. They think it will be easy like it’s always been for them & when it isn’t they get frustrated and do the stuff he acknowledges he did. It’s good he’s recognized that. Would be nice if he stopped that superman nonsense in the EZ too. That’s a WR/RB CB thing, not a leader thing.

  20. jwcarlson says: May 29, 2012 5:20 PM

    Cam seems to be doing things right. I’ll admit that he is surprising me… not that my opinion really matters. But it’s nice to see one of the younger guys acting like an adult instead of an entitled fool.

  21. dirtydrynn27 says: May 29, 2012 5:21 PM

    I did hear like thousands of people saying the Bust word,Somehow they all disappeard!!! They are saying the same thing about RGIII,I am betting that they are the same nay sayers that will once again disappear!!!!….Deja Vu???

  22. regulator01 says: May 29, 2012 5:25 PM

    cam has a ceiling like noone the nfl has ever seen

  23. essentialsausage says: May 29, 2012 5:31 PM

    This guy seems like a class act, I think the Panthers picked a winner.

  24. Slim Charles says: May 29, 2012 5:33 PM

    Clearly, anyone who STILL has problems with Newton’s “character” has their own issues to work out or is a Bama homer.

  25. norseman69 says: May 29, 2012 5:38 PM

    I thought Cam said he was an entertainer and icon… well let’s entertain…

  26. cleminem757 says: May 29, 2012 5:43 PM

    Sounds like he is trying to sound as smart as RGIII. Sorry bud, RGIII will be better than you.

  27. drbrousters says: May 29, 2012 5:48 PM

    Never has been any question about his talent. His character and ego have always been in question. Now he says he realizes it and will do better. Maybe, but not likely. He’s been this way for a long time. Hope he can turn it around. His talent is AMAZING.

  28. granadafan says: May 29, 2012 5:49 PM

    I was a skeptic of Cam, but was quickly impressed by his performance as a rookie and with no offseason. If he continues to learn and mature this kid will be an elite QB and buck the trend of failed Heisman QBs over the last 20 years or so.

  29. whitemike55 says: May 29, 2012 5:50 PM

    I’m not playing Monday morning QB, but I honestly knew Jamarcus Russell would be a total bust and Cam Newton would be a stud.

    I hate to judge a book by its cover, but just listening to each speak, their demeanor on the field, on the sidelines, in interviews was very revealing to me.

    Still to this day, I could care less how far someone can throw a football. It’s about accuracy and the will to win and be the best.

    As a Texans fan, Cam is one QB I really enjoy watching. I’m also glad he is in the NFC.

  30. jgedgar70 says: May 29, 2012 5:54 PM

    Here in Carolina, the only problem we had with Cam last year was the towel over the head, sit by himself and sulk act after something bad happened. We tried to excuse it away as the reaction to his first-ever losing team. Critics called him a crybaby. To Cam’s credit, he has admitted the critics had a case, and sees that he needs to change it.

    Is Cam going to end up as one of the all-time greats? I believe so more now that I hear this. The great ones are always looking to get better.

    I look forward to Cam being a major thorn in the side of NFL d-coordinators for the next decade or more!

  31. bryangene says: May 29, 2012 6:15 PM

    Cam says all the right things and he goes out on the field to prove that he’s not all talk. It’s scary to think that this guy is only going to mature and get better.

  32. outlawjerseywhales says: May 29, 2012 6:28 PM

    Good for him.
    Just please cancel that awful (HIS CLUB, HIS DJ, bad “music”, screaming “WHAT?”, etc.) commercial.
    I fear I’ll shoot myself if I have to endure that again.

  33. iplaybad says: May 29, 2012 8:03 PM

    I was one of the people who thought Cam was going to be a bust. He proved me wrong. He has a ton of skills and a mile high ceiling. As long as he doesn’t allow himself to be bottled up and mistake prone in 2nd halves, the Panthers have a shot at the wild card.

  34. woodsidegil says: May 29, 2012 8:09 PM

    To quote Alper:

    “To Smith, Newton tries to put too much on his shoulders…..”

    Smith never said anything like that or do you profess that you can read his mind and interpret unspoken thoughts? Smith said that statistics weren’t as important as winning , especially in the second half.

    You must be a brand new intern trying too hard to impress the boss.

  35. bdawkins2 says: May 29, 2012 11:12 PM

    kingcarlbanks says:
    May 29, 2012 4:35 PM
    Get this young man some weapons. Give Plax a call.

    —————————————————-

    Why? Is Plax selling his guns?

  36. cgarsmoker says: May 29, 2012 11:45 PM

    Cam Newton is doing all the right things, working hard, staying out of trouble…..all those haters talking junk better start hiding now, Cam is only going to get better this season.

  37. kingcarlbanks says: May 30, 2012 12:05 AM

    @Bdawkins2

    You got me, nice one..

  38. djm426 says: May 30, 2012 6:56 AM

    Good fantasy qb if u get bonus points for rushing yards

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