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Ron Rivera wants Cam Newton to control his emotions

Ron Rivera, Cam Newton AP

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton exceeded expectations as a rookie in every way, but his coach believes there’s still plenty of room for Newton to improve — especially as a team leader.

Rivera said on NFL Network’s Inside Training Camp Live that he worries sometimes that Newton is so competitive that he loses his focus, and that Newton can become a better player by calming down at times.

“The one thing that we did talk about really was controlling his emotions,” Rivera said. “He wants to win so bad . . . last year was hard. It was very hard on him, and the thing that he’s done is he’s grown a little bit, he’s matured. He understands that there is a process and we’re going through that process. We were 2-14 two seasons ago, 6-10 last season, so now hopefully as we continue to progress and get better as a football team, who knows where we can be? We believe we can be better than 6-10 and we can make the playoffs.”

Newton is only 23 years old and is just wrapping up his first full NFL offseason, and Rivera said he sees plenty of ways that Newton can keep getting better.

“As we’ve looked at it, the big thing that we really truly believe is he has to improve his entire football game,” Rivera said. “Not just the little things that people always say, ‘His mechanics aren’t good, his decision-making process isn’t good.’ We believe he can improve in every facet of his game from his footwork, to his mechanics, to his decision-making process, to the way he runs things in the huddle. As he improves and gets better as a football player, we improve and get better as a football team.”

After a rookie season in which he topped 4,000 passing yards and ran for 14 touchdowns, Newton getting better in every phase of the game is a scary thought for the rest of the NFC South.

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13 Responses to “Ron Rivera wants Cam Newton to control his emotions”
  1. dbones750 says: Aug 3, 2012 3:57 PM

    I wish men in general could control their emoticons better.

  2. bc1906 says: Aug 3, 2012 4:03 PM

    Love how he plays with his heart on his sleeve, but he does need to tone it done a little and focus on getting this team to the next level…

  3. daviddmsvcp says: Aug 3, 2012 4:06 PM

    “His mechanics aren’t good, his decision-making process isn’t good.”

    Geez, that’s got to hurt.

  4. jgedgar70 says: Aug 3, 2012 4:13 PM

    The problems he has are good problems to have. I laugh when I think back to the time between the Auburn BCS title and the draft – all that talk about how he had no work ethic, that anyone who smiled that big had to be a no-good phony, that since he ran a spread offense at Auburn, that meant he was mentally incapable of running any other offense, that because he said he wanted to be an entertainer and an icon, that proved that he had absolutely no care for any human being in the world but himself, that since he was a crook at Florida, he was incapable of being anything but a crook for the rest of his life – all things that proved to be 100% false. And I’m still hearing similar nonsense – that he will be garbage this year because there’s a year of film on him (meaning that it is impossible for him and the offense to adjust to the adjustments), that he’s evil because he’s the only human being in the world that makes appearances that charge for his autograph, on and on. I look forward to seeing him destroy another pile of low expectations. He’s only going to get better. I’m glad he’s on my team.

  5. hulkhogansays says: Aug 3, 2012 4:36 PM

    I have to agree with Rivera. Newton has to just accept that RG3 is the superior football player and just deal with it calmly brother.

  6. isabsir says: Aug 3, 2012 4:37 PM

    Ron Rivera needs to worry about tightening up that defense. Cam threw or ran for 35 tds and the offense ranked 5th in the league last year in ppg. He’s the last guy they should worry about.

  7. pilot2011 says: Aug 3, 2012 4:55 PM

    RG3 is no where near cam newtons level… I highly doubt he can withstand the hits he will be receiving this year from the likes of JPP and D. Ware

  8. rajbais says: Aug 3, 2012 5:00 PM

    I don’t blame Cam for wearing his emotions on his sleeves. Remember how
    “He is disingenuous, a phony, and has a fake smile”??? Remember how “he does not have a great work ethic” and “cannot lead a football team”??

    Well, everyone was against him after that stupid report. I’m not trying to blaspheme the publication, but it seemed way too extreme and it didn’t show a comprehensive summary on his football or athletic body of work.

    At Florida he could not throw according to an eye-witnessing writer that I heard the Stephen A. Smith Show. His name was Pat Dooley.

    So after Blynn JC, he can finally throw and after he arrived in Auburn he carried the team to the national championship, but he cannot lead a football team??

    He says that “I want to be an entertainer and icon” after getting an endorsement deal from Under Armour and all of a sudden he is disingenuous???

    Ron Rivera is correct to a degree, but let’s understand where Cam Newton comes from.

  9. gregm5s7 says: Aug 3, 2012 5:10 PM

    uhhh Cam is a beast. He just has to be more diplomatic. Asking a 23 year old to be a bigger leader and role model is a tall order, but he has crushed everything so far

  10. predatorusmc says: Aug 3, 2012 5:12 PM

    Cam is going to elevate everyone on the Panthers. His desire to win will feed that entire team. If Coach can get the defense to stop giving away last minute 40+ yard plays then Carolina is going to be a contender. Go Cam and the Panthers!

  11. thegreatgabbert says: Aug 3, 2012 5:19 PM

    He is a year older emotionally. Roughly the equivalent to a nine year old.

  12. davidjcu says: Aug 4, 2012 3:30 PM

    The reason why his coach wants him to tone it back a bit is because he is so hard on himself. He is his own biggest critic, while that is a good thing it can be counterproductive if taken too far. I believe thats what held Peyton from winning his first superbowl, he felt he had to do everything and couldn’t play compose and relaxed when the pressure was on.Lets face it, given what we’ve seen so far Newton has all the tools, the drive, and the work ethic to be an elite QB in this league. He doesn’t rely on his supermanesque athletic abilities like Vick did when he entered the league, and has able to turn negative criticism into positive production unlike Vince Young who collapsed and couldn’t take it. In 3-5 years it will be Cam and A-Rod as the new Brady/Manning debate over who is the best QB.

  13. whatswiththehate says: Aug 7, 2012 1:30 PM

    It seems as if when it came to Cam, everyone and their mother looked for something about him to criticize him about. I’m sure if we stuck EVERY
    QB under the same microscope that we do Cam, we’d find the same, if not more, flaws..

    When is the media going to leave this young man alone and let him play the game.

    Amazing how the media spent the draft nitpicking on Cam’s “mechanics” and now we learn that their chosen QB, Blaine Gabbert’s” mechanics are even worst. I guess that is why the media magnified Cam’s so much.

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