In 2011, Cam Newton burst onto the scene looking like the league’s best young quarterback and the best rookie quarterback the NFL had ever seen. But in 2012, Newton was largely overshadowed by young quarterbacks like Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick.
Newton said on NFL Network that he’s not envious of the attention those other quarterbacks got, but he is motivated to show he’s the best in the business.
“No, by no means,” Newton said. “I’m a fan of those guys. Colin Kaepernick, I got an opportunity to know him well; we were roommates at the Combine when we were coming out. RG3, he’s won the Heisman. Andrew Luck – those guys came in this league and took it by storm. Am I envious? No. If anything it challenges me to get better and just remember about this league that if you’re not getting better, you’re getting forgotten. So for this whole offseason I’ve been challenging myself, one, to lose weight, two, to become not a stronger player but a smarter player. That’s one thing I’ve been focusing on with our quarterback coach Ken Dorsey and offensive coordinate Mike Shula. Those guys have been helping me progressing in those different areas.”
Newton said he’s working on “becoming mature about each and every situation” and that he believes the Panthers can win the NFC South this year.
“Absolutely. Absolutely,” Newton said. “We’re not going to bat an eye for anybody, especially anybody in this division. We know that our conference is very challenging with seeing Tampa Bay twice a year, Atlanta twice a year, the New Orleans Saints twice a year. It’s going to make us better and it’s also going to let us know where we stand as a team come midway or during the latter part of the season.”
If Newton can play like the best young quarterback in the league, he may have the Panthers in contention at the end of the season.