Would the Panthers like to see Cam Newton grow up? Of course they would.
But they haven’t sent him off for professional help.
On Sunday, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported Newton was seeing a “mind coach” to help him deal with issues such as the sulking that got him a talking-to from Steve Smith.
But Newton refuted that report Monday, saying he’s sought no such counsel.
“I have not hired a sports psychologist,” Newton said, via Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer. “I have no idea where that came from. I have a strong support system in my teammates, coaches and family. My focus is on improving this week and getting ready to play Atlanta.”
Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he had no problem with it if Newton would, saying he’s worked with a sports psychologist for more than 10 years.
“I’ve got a guy on speed dial that is a sports psychologist that I’ve talked with since 1999, and he’s been outstanding with me,” Rivera said. “So I see no issues with it. I think it’s great that he’s trying to be proactive and help himself, if that’s what he’s doing.”
By my clinical diagnosis (after years of training as a shade-tree mind coach), what Newton has is a raging case of being 23. It does not have to be terminal.
He’s young and talented and charismatic and good-looking, and his 7-12 record as the Panthers starter is unlike anything he’s ever experienced.
He’s also not the first one to fail to win every game in the NFL after enjoying nothing but success in college.
He can go find a throwing coach, a mind coach or an acting coach, but until he learns to adjust to the ups and downs of having to play with people who are every bit as talented as he is, this will continue.
It also doesn’t have to be that hard. The Panthers could use a more consistent pass rush and more consistent play-calling on offense a lot more than they need Dr. Phil to start making house calls.