QBs should protect themselves, but Cam picked the wrong time

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Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton may have cost his team a chance at the Super Bowl by getting too aggressive on a turnover. After Dalton threw an interception in Week 14 against the Steelers, he injured his throwing hand trying to make the tackle and was lost for the season. The Bengals were 10-2 at the time of Dalton’s injury, but they went 2-3 without Dalton the rest of the way, including a loss to the Steelers in the wild card round of the playoffs. Some quarterbacks don’t try to make the tackle after an interception, and in hindsight, the Bengals surely wish Dalton hadn’t made an effort after that Week 14 interception.

It was that kind of play Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was thinking about when he explained why he didn’t jump on his fumble in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl.

“I’ve seen numerous quarterbacks throw interceptions and their effort afterwards, they don’t go,” Newton said. “I don’t dive on one fumble and because the way my leg was, it could’ve been contorted in a way. OK, you say my effort, I didn’t dive down. I fumbled, that’s fine, but . . . we didn’t lose that game ’cause of that fumble, I’ll tell you that. You can condemn and say, ‘Well, he gave up’ and this that and the third. But hey, as long as my teammates know, as long as my coaches know. It’s easy for a person to nitpick and say, ‘Aw man, Cam this, he gave up.’ That’s cool, that’s fine. I’m a grown man, I can understand that. But to say some things along the lines of that, and to say it to my face, that’s extremely different.”

Newton’s explanation makes sense. Every quarterback in football is told to protect himself. Run out of bounds. Slide feet first. Throw the ball away instead of taking a sack. Avoid contact. Save your body. Coaches tell quarterbacks that. Fans and members of the media criticize quarterbacks who fail to do that. Even the oldest of the old-school football people, the guys who pine for the days when men were men, players played both ways and you shook it off when you got your bell rung, will admit that a starting quarterback sometimes has to shy away from taking a hit.

Except for one thing: This was the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl, with four minutes left and the Panthers down by one score. There are certain times when we expect our great athletes to lay it all on the line, and four minutes left in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl is one of those times.

Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy said on today’s PFT Live that he used to instruct Peyton Manning to avoid contact after a turnover. But not in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl.

“My first thought was, ‘What are you doing?’ And you don’t know what’s going through his mind,” Dungy said of watching Newton’s fumble live. “Did he think it was gonna bounce and didn’t? But when I heard his explanation about not wanting to get hurt. . . . I’ve had Peyton Manning throw interceptions in the regular season and even in the playoffs, the first series of the game. Get out of the way, don’t get hurt, we’ve all seen quarterbacks get hurt. You can’t help your team if you’re injured. But the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl, when if they pick that ball up the game’s over? You can’t worry about getting hurt at that point. You’re trying to win the Super Bowl.”

Newton has been ripped by some fans as a wimp or a coward for failing to fall on the football, and that’s unfair. Newton is probably the most physical quarterback in the NFL, a guy who doesn’t hesitate to lower his shoulders and run through a defender to pick up an extra yard. Last season, Newton broke two vertebra in a car accident on December 9, and on December 21 he was back on the field, running the ball 12 times for 63 yards and a touchdown while leading the Panthers to a victory that helped them reach the playoffs. Does that sound like a wimp or a coward to you?

But while Newton’s toughness shouldn’t be questioned, his decision-making on that one play should be. Newton screwed up. With four minutes left in the Super Bowl, he should have fought for the ball.

168 responses to “QBs should protect themselves, but Cam picked the wrong time

  1. Perhaps he just got scared.
    Unfortunately, that’s how big talkers play.
    Seems like that’s the direction of the NFL.
    Stupid that he only thinks about himself.
    Yet here were are, still talking about his cowardice.

  2. I agree. As a Patriots fan, I get worried whenever I see Brady try to make a tackle after a turnover or block on a reverse in a Week 4 game in Buffalo. But I never thought I’d see a quarterback refuse to go after a fumble when not recovering it basically eliminated any chance of winning the Super Bowl.

  3. His comparison to QB after they thrown an INT makes no sense. After an INT, the ball isn’t live, the turnover is already complete with possession by the other team. His fumbled ball was up for grabs with the SB basically on the line.

  4. Newton is making no connection to Dalton. He is stating, flat out, that a QB running off the field (or limping a la Big Ben) after throwing an INT is justification for him not trying to get that fumble. I’m not falling for the weak attempt to make him look better than he was. If he wants to say he’s saving himself for next year, that’s fine, but the consequence of that is he didn’t win the big game this year…and next year isn’t guaranteed.

  5. Glad all his teammates who he called losers for conducting themselves like adults in the post game media sessions still support him. Should have drove on it immediately.

  6. So train yourself to do something every time except when its most important do the opposite of your training

  7. OK, this is a guy who’s not afraid to jump over the line into the end zone. But I guess he hadn’t worked out his I recovered my own fumble” dance yet so no, he’s not doing it.

    Not to worry, if this guy keeps running around he’ll end up like Vick or Griffin or any of those guys who think they can morph into Walter Payton. A QB who expects a long career should think of running only as a last resort.

  8. So this all about Cam not protecting himself? Not Von Miller eating Carolina’s right tackle alive for 60 minutes??? Nothing on the protectors not protecting???

    Nothing on all the downs Demarcus Ware and Derek Wolfe destroyed Michael Oher and Andrew Norwell??? Which was pretty much one of them on every other down???

    Is anyone giving Cam part of their check for sports writers ranting about the same damn thing for 3 days now??? He gave you the material after all…

  9. I think those are different situations. In an intercepted pass the ball is already controlled by the defense an is wise to avoid an injury. In that fumble, the possession was wide open or at least he had a good chance to recover it. This doesn’t even talking it was the SB.

  10. His explanation doesn’t make sense at all, literally. It was a bunch of half-thoughts, jumbled up into incoherent, half-sentences. The fact that you can piece them together by inference makes no difference — that response was garbage.

  11. Perception is reality. 99% of fans say he should have jumped into the scrum. 99% of those say he chickened out on the biggest stage of the year. He would have been better off claiming a brain fart.

  12. But, but, but, these other guys threw picks and didn’t try hard, and they didn’t get in trouble. I’m just like those guys… No wait, I’m just Cam being Cam, I’m not like anybody… Oh no wait… Maybe I should just shut up.

  13. I don’t buy it for a second. You are willing to leap head first into the end zone & take a shoulder to the head when your team is dominating the NFC Championship game but not willing to dive on your fumble in the 4th quarter of the SB when your team is down one score? The difference is that in the first situation all was going well and fun & games and in the second you were gettin beat up and it was hard and not fun. That make s you a front runner who gave up when things got tough.

  14. One of the biggest plays of Big Ben’s career was not a TD pass, but a tackle on the Colts DB returning a fumble for an apparent game winning score. Just sayin’.

  15. themiamidolphins says:
    Feb 10, 2016 1:38 PM
    Cam is tough, no denying that. He’s a baby though and clearly threw in the towel with that decision. He has no heart.

    No he’s not tough, he’s just big. Same with guys like Roethlisberger. His size is the only reason he’s still walking. Tough is a state of mind, you don’t acquire it simply because your a physical freak of nature. Julian Edelman is tougher than either of those guys.

    Anyone who has ever worked as bouncer knows it’s not the big guys you need to worry about.

  16. Newton had the ball sitting there for him to pounce on and he pulled back.

    With four minutes and change to go in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl, and the lead in the game at stake.


    And then Newton said he doesn’t care what anyone thinks and that play where he punk’d out on the loose ball didn’t cost them the game.

    At least Bill Buckner didn’t cower meekly at that ground ball that went through his legs. At least Scott Norwood manned up and admitted he blew the kick. At least Greg Norman admitted he choked away the ’96 Masters with a six-shot lead going into the final round.

    But Newton did cower meekly, wilted, cost his team any chance at victory — and even after all that, he won’t man up and own it.

    Entirely inexcusable, and unforgivable.

  17. Cam has shown who he is by how he acts when he wins and how he’s acted after a loss. His sulkiness after the game was excusable, you just lost, the Broncos were right next to you trashing you, we get it, that’s a pass to behave that way. But after having at least 48 hours to reflect, he still hasn’t manned up to the fumble. Deflecting his decision to not go after a fumble in the biggest game of the year because you were afraid of contorting your legs, to a situation of a QB who doesn’t go chase an INT in the regular season. Totally different situation. Just say you made a mistake and should have gone for it. But no, he deflects away from himself.

  18. Hope Cam sees this headline cause it’s spot on.
    Preseason game or even week 16 when your team is already 14-0 ok……but not to beat a dead horse but with 5 minutes to go in 6 point game?!?!?!…. Sell crazy to someone else Cam…….

  19. Cam backed away from that fumble like it was a nest of angry hornets at his feet. That was bad enough. Then he continues to justify why it was a good idea? This will be a defining moment in Cam Newton’s career. The Panthers need to find a new leader for their team because the players will no longer trust in Cam.

  20. I think the problem is we all WISH we had the opportunity to dive on a loose ball in the 4th Qtr of the Superbowl and maybe give our team just one more chance to win.

    How many chances for greatness does one get? To let one get away ……..

    Hopefully he will get another chance at the big one otherwise that play is going to be how he’s defined in sport where greatness usually doesn’t knock twice and call you by name.

  21. If you didn’t watch the SB and didn’t know the score and was shown the offensive stats from each team, you would have thought the Panthers won. Both offenses were horrendous.

  22. Between evading the media and not giving his all, Cam Newton proved he’s not an elite QB

    It’s ironic because one of the benefits of avoiding the media for a day was to have straightened his head out and come up with good answers to these questions

    Epic Fail

    But winning the SB next year makes everything go away

  23. I would just LOVE to see Cam & Co. play one game against the 1975 Raider defence featuring Jack Tatum. Needless to say, I think his superman act and dabbing would quickly come to an end. Can you imagine Cam pulling that stunt in against them that he did in Tennessee? That would be great to see.

  24. And people rip on Rickey Waters. He may as well have said “Why? For What?”

    Um, the Super Bowl, Cam. You have no heart, no guts, and you’ll never be a champion at the big-boy level.

  25. Poll every qb in the league. Given the same situation, would they have thought about their legs, of would their total focus have been go for the ball? The vote would be 31….. go for the ball regardless of the risk of injury……Cam ….protect my body at the cost of victory

  26. That Broncos D made Aaron Rodgers look average, difference is. He stood in front of the media after the game and answered all the questions, same as when Manning Got trounced by the Seahwaks…..Cam said of his antics, ,” If you don’t like it, stop me.” Well Cam, they stopped you in a big way on the biggest stage, and you acted like a pouty little kid that got his lollipop stolen…….

  27. OK, so as a Broncos fan I love this DVR a lot. With that said, I did clearly notice that Cam made no effort to fall on this ball. With how big of a quarterback he is, he’d be more equipped to absorb a hit than others. What good is all that athleticism if he’s not willing to take one for the team? That’s what quarterbacks do, if they’re true leaders anyway.

  28. Sorry, but he isn’t that tough. Sure he’s the biggest QB in the league & he can take on linebackers when it’s on his own terms (IE: going forward, lowering shoulder, ability to protect himself). But when the chips are down & it’s an every man scramble for the ball he wasn’t willing to lay it on the line. I lost a TON of respect for him on that play. And hearing him try to excuse it has not helped his cause in the least bit.

    You think Roethlisberger would jump on that ball? Yep! Brady? Yep! Even Manning would’ve jumped on that ball.

  29. I’m no Cam fan but he didn’t look to be in position to dive directly on the ball. Over-pursuit and a halt.
    They lose even if he recovers the ball.

  30. He blew it with the fumble. We get it. Move on. The guy is usually tough as nails. Assuming he would go for it and would get hurt, that would have been the game too. No way Derek Anderson leads them back with that pass rush from Denver. He’s right. They didn’t lose the game because of that fumble. They could have tied the game had they recovered it though. 14 point swing. It sucks. Learn from it. Try again next season.

  31. When I first saw it, I thought he might have hesitated because he thought the ball would bounce back then I thought he might have hesitated because he had a teammate diving in from his left. I was surprised to hear his explanation. He’s young enough to get back and win a Super Bowl but there are hardly any guarantees either. I wonder if he feels differently years from now and he still hasn’t got back there. Regrets? I think so…

  32. I have more respect for Blair Walsh, who sat in front of his locker for longer than Cam sat at his own post-game presser and owned it.

  33. Yeah, sure, Cam. I’m sure you’re loser team mates are all relieved that you saved yourself for the next game. *whew* That was a close one! Who knows what may have happened if you fell on that loose ball?

  34. I’ll take Cam over your quarterback…every single day…no exceptions….He will be dominating this league for the next ten years and as he matures and learns he will only get better…… Your team on the other hand will be chasing the Panthers for the next ten years…so keep your petty little hatred fired up, you’re going to need it…LOL…Keep Pounding!

  35. His cowardly dance just cost him millions in endorsements. Who wants to buy products from a guy who doesn’t want to win and is a petulant and incoherent baby? There’s only so many Panther fans out there. It’s not as if they have a national following.

  36. Doesn’t matter. It was game over for them by that point anyway with the way the Denver D owned the Panthers all game anyway.

  37. Being “the most physical quarterback in the NFL” and “being a wimp” are not mutually exclusive. With his height, weight and speed, it’s not exactly an heroic achievement to lower your shoulder and fall forward an extra three feet. How many players on defense are as big as him? Defensive Tackles? He’s as big as a lot of defensive ends… he’s as big or bigger than most linebackers… he’s bigger than any corner… Kam Chancellor is a beast of a safety and Cam Newton has a few inches and like 20 pounds on the guy. The playground bully is also usually the “most physical” person there, but generally speaking, bullies aren’t all that tough when they meet someone bigger or stronger than them. When they run up against someone that they can’t push around… what do they do? They pout and whine and throw a fit. Cam Newton wouldn’t do anything like that, though.

  38. i can’t imagine a leader who has mindset like Cam. Perhaps, it’s all about himself…
    glad the pink panthers choked in sb.

  39. Camera really needs to hire a Damage Control PR firm. America has lost all respect for him and he can no longer be considered the face of the NFL. His decision to protect hmself will likely cost him millions in endorsements. Sorry Camera, but other people do have the right to judge you and the verdict is in!

  40. Look at it from this perspective:

    What would everyone’s opinion be of him if he wasn’t Cam Newton? By that I mean, he was actually one who doesn’t talk smack, dress in stupid clothes, act like he thinks he is superman, and doesn’t act disrespectful of the other team when they beat them?

    They would still bite him in the butt for not trying to jump on the ball, BUT, would we go after his throat? Not nearly as much.

    He basically set himself up for all this criticism for what happened at the SB due to his previous behavior before the SB. In other words, he sowed it, now he has to reap it.

    You are going to get spanked if you act like a brat.

    No sympathy.

  41. What a bunch of hogwash!

    Cam is a professional athlete. He needs to be a team player and quit thinking of himself first. If he gets hurt, he gets hurt, that is a part of the game. Does Dalton wish things had been different? Sure he does, but I bet if the same type of play happens again, Dalton would again attempt to make the play, because that is what a team member does.

    Every starting player is an important part of the team, not just the QB. It also proves what a poor coach Dungy is, instructing Manning to avoid contact. That is just a coach scared of what will happen to his job and scared of the backlash if the team doesn’t win games.

    Cam is selfish and only thinks of himself. He is absolutely the one that can and should be considered to have lost the super bowl for his team. Had he recovered the football, the most likely scenario would be quite different than the final outcome.

  42. One person who deserves an apology in the Cam Newton affair is draft expert Nolan Nawrocki, who was barbecued for his scouting report on Cam Newton. Does anyone who watched the Super Bowl and the aftermath no longer think that Nawrocki’s review isn’t substantively correct?

    “Very disingenuous — has a fake smile, comes off as very scripted and has a selfish, me-first makeup. Always knows where the cameras are and plays to them. Has an enormous ego with a sense of entitlement that continually invites trouble and makes him believe he is above the law — does not command respect from teammates and will always struggle to win a locker room . . . Lacks accountability, focus and trustworthiness — is not punctual, seeks shortcuts and sets a bad example. Immature and has had issues with authority. Not dependable.”

  43. wendyohno says:
    Feb 10, 2016 2:04 PM

    Speaking of Cam, what happened to his tv ads? Looks like they have been pulled. Doesn’t he know his sponsors have no right to judge him?


    I hear he is going to market the new yogurt flavor “sour grapes”

  44. Mark this down. The decision to talk and say that he didn’t want to go after that fumble won’t go over well in the Panthers locker room. This was the super bowl. It would have been better for him to lie than to say that he didn’t want to get hurt. Next year for the Panthers this is going to be a big issue. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the panthers lose about 10 games next year. The defense I know will have a big issue with his decision not to go after that ball.

  45. This is going to haunt him for the rest of his career, just like that Chris Webber timeout in the NCAA championship game. It wont matter what he does, 20 years from now they will still be asking him about it.

  46. “Except for one thing: This was the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl, with four minutes left and the Panthers down by one score.”

    Sums it up right there

  47. I didn’t mind all his celebrations throughout the year and defended him.

    But begging for calls, not wanting to risk jumping on a live ball in a one score game in the Bowl, Post game baby act.

    Keep Pouting

  48. The Panthers came out of a weak division, With Tampa, Atlanta, New Orleans, and played a third place schedule this year…will see how next year goes, with them playing a first years schedule and drafting last….

  49. I for one, am not questioning Cam’s toughness. I am questioning his heart, his will to win and his dedication to winning that game.

    He is a preening diva, all too willing to pose for the cameras, do the dab, and call himself Superman. I suppose that is all part of winning but when the shoe is on the other foot, what do we see?

    We see the true Cam, a poor sport, lacking in mental toughness and is fair weather teammate.

    Good luck to the Panthers, I hope they never see another
    Superbowl so this performance will be cemented in time as the true insight into Cam Newton.

  50. How come nobody questions those two Panther defenders that only two hand touch Norwood on that long punt return really? What was that? Did that come from the Peyton Manning needs to win the Super Bowl NFL committee?

  51. I actually thought Ware couldve had a pretty bad shoulder injury if Cam went in for that football

    Broncos recovered it and Ware is good, so I’m happy

  52. I thought it was one of those plays that happens so fast, there’s no time to think, and he shouldn’t be faulted for it.

    However, his post game presser AND the presser discussed above 2 days later, show his narcissism in full bloom. Great athlete, troubling mentality

  53. Sometimes it’s the size of the dog in the fight but more often than not it is the size of the fight in the dog that really matters. Denver’s D had knocked the fight out of Newton well before that play happened.

  54. Cam is full of b.s. He’s 6’5 and 250 lbs., he rushed 132 times this past year for 636 yds and 10 TD’s and now in the biggest game of his life, the SB, he wants to tap out and claims it’s because he didn’t want to hurt himself????? I would think even an arrogant egotistical me…me….me would understand how foolish his excuse sounds.

  55. For all the talk of Brady being a whiner and a baby and all of that. Brady and Cam were in a similar situation against the Broncos. Brady took more punishment through out the game, twice as many hits. But with 4:00 left in the fourth, and down by one score, Brady had the stones to drive his team down the field and get into the end zone. The 2 point conversion failed, and they lost, but they got to the end zone. On the other hand, Cam with 4:00 to play, down by 6, needing a TD to win (not a TD and 2 point to force OT, but a TD and point after to win the effing Super Bowl), Cam fumbles, and then watches the Broncos recover and ice the game. Brady may be a “baby”, but so was Dan Marino. But one thing Brady wont do is quit, pout, sulk, or give up. Brady has far more competitive fire than Cam, and that’s the difference between really good, and exceptional. Brady and Peyton aren’t half the athlete Cam is, but they aren’t playing video games, they are studying, and working, and always improving. They have busted their behinds to be legends. Cam is already a legend in his own mind. And his natural talent as a freakishly gifted athlete has allowed him to get by on talent alone. He doesn’t have the capacity to put in the work that Brady and Peyton put in. That’s it. Cam wants to be the MVP, he wants to win a SB, he wins to win every game, but he isn’t going to put himself out to get there…

  56. Newton showed his true Character on Sunday, he has lost respect from his teammates.
    The Panthers will not be back in the Playoffs next year.
    Just another of the 4 team Playoff shuffle.
    If Peyton retires the Broncos are #2, Texans #3
    and either Seattle or Cards are #4.
    Who is in?
    Who do you think? I’m kind of iffy on a few…

  57. i still don’t understand his, that fumble didn’t lose us the game shtick. down by six and your defense is playing even better than the Denver defense. TRY to recover the fumble, punt , and your defense stops them three and out, like they had been nearly all game. forces them to punt, you have at least 2 minutes to drive 80 yards. your the self proclaimed superman for heavens sake. news flash to cam, THAT FUMBLE WAS THE END OF THE GAME………………. hell even Cutler would have made an attempt on the ball

  58. I don’t care what his excuses are. No matter which way you slice it,he chickened out in the Super Bowl. It’s a daunting task for a team to even get there. You give it your all,no matter what. No excuses. They may never make it there again.

  59. He’s lying.

    He was able to jump back away from the ball like it was on fire.

    One of the single most cowardly plays I’ve ever seen in 50+ years of watching the nfl

  60. Sigh.

    The hate is strong here. lol.

    The question was why he didn’t DIVE on the ball. Everyone is acting like he didn’t hustle to get it. Instead of diving he tried to scoop it…didn’t work…turned around and dove in the scrum to try and get it that way.

    “My leg was contorted” isn’t “I didn’t want to injure myself” as much as it is “I was in a bad position to dive.”

    BUT b/c it’s Cam Newton…everyone goes for the craziest most out there reason.he’s not tough…he quit…he didn’t want it bad enough…which goes against everything known about the guy up to this point.

    Context is everything..but how you see it, solely depends on the prism you view Cam to begin with.

  61. It was way more than just a fumble in the Super Bowl. Denver had about a 78% chance of winning the game at that time and as soon as they got that fumble it went to about 98%, then the TD made it 100%.

    Cam still had a chance to win the game if he recovered the fumble.

    I was defending Cam a few days ago, but looking at what he said, and how immature and self centered he is, he is pretty hard to defend now.

    I always feel like peoples true character is revealed in a crisis, and this doesn’t look the best for Cam. He needs to grow up and put the team first if he wants to continue to be great.

    You know if the situation was reversed that Peyton would have been diving on that ball as would Brady, Brees, Eli, Ben, etc.

  62. Ware was already on the ground reaching out for the ball when Newton jumped back and away. I watched the YouTube video about a dozen times. No one was threatening his legs or knees.
    One of his own team mates was alongside Ware nearly on the ground, two more were closing in from both sides and two Denver players were coming into the frame. One from behind and one to his right.
    From my viewpoint, Newton had an even shot at the ball as much Ware did if he had dived for it. It didn’t look to me like he would have been risking any sort of injury.
    I think he peed down his leg on that play.

  63. What truly bothers me is the fact that Cam loved himself some Cam before the big game. I mean the man loves the camera . He loses and he wants nothing to do with them. Be a man, be a professional, win or lose ! P.s. I’ve got something you can Dab Mister Newton

  64. I don’t buy that there was this intricate decision-making process going on in his head. I think it was much more primal than that: He was scared. You see in the replay how he was going to go after it, took a couple steps, and then after seeing all the bodies flying towards the ball got scared he’d be crushed. He’d been taking hits all day and just couldn’t stand the thought of taking one more.

  65. bradygirl12 says:
    Feb 10, 2016 2:48 PM

    I don’t care what his excuses are. No matter which way you slice it,he chickened out in the Super Bowl. It’s a daunting task for a team to even get there. You give it your all,no matter what. No excuses. They may never make it there again.


    Odds are certainly heavily against them making it next year anyway. Very hard for the Super Bowl loser to make it back.

  66. crueman09 says:
    Feb 10, 2016 3:02 PM

    What truly bothers me is the fact that Cam loved himself some Cam before the big game. I mean the man loves the camera . He loses and he wants nothing to do with them. Be a man, be a professional, win or lose ! P.s. I’ve got something you can Dab Mister Newton


    The marketing and brand management around Cam was starting to make him look like a really good guy. If you remember, other players thought he was an idiot when he first got into the league, but I really thought he was past it.

    Nope. Still the same guy, but has been a really good actor for the last year or two.

  67. rollotomasi14 says:
    Feb 10, 2016 1:48 PM

    You know who else sulks and throws tantrums when things don’t go their way?

    John Harbaugh?

  68. huh6016 says:
    Feb 10, 2016 1:34 PM

    Peyton Manning would have moved away from the fumble like an uncoordinated ballerina….
    Not in Super Bowl 50. After Manning was intercepted you’ll see him headed towards the runner and getting drilled for his efforts.

  69. Newton actually said “that fumble didn’t lose the game”.

    His teammates know better.

    Recover that fumble, and you have four minutes to make a game-winning, MVP worthy, career-defining drive. At the very LEAST, you keep our opponent from getting the ball at the 4 yard line and scoring again.

    Don’t recover it, and you hand your opponents the ball on your own 4 yard line. Game over.

    Don’t tell ME that that fumble didn’t lose the game for Carolina.

    With the Super Bowl on the line, Cam Newton QUIT. He knows it, his team knows it, and every football fan outside of Carolina knows it.

  70. “The Panthers will not be back in the Playoffs next year.”


    Panthers have been in the playoffs 3 years in a row. They still are the most likely to win the NFC South.

    They are not a fluke. They went to the SB with an offense that was held together with duct tape and bubble gum.

    Their defense will improve. Their #1 receiver will be back and their GM is very good at drafting and signing FA that fit their team.

    NFC goes through 4 teams: Arizona – GreenBay – Seattle and Panthers.

    That’s not likely to change anytime soon.

  71. The other guy was already on the ball. If you seriously think Newton was going to have any chance at recovering that fumble… You’re as blind as someone who says “why didn’t that linemen keep running to try and catch up to Adrian Peterson once he broke through to the secondary?!!”

  72. It makes it all the more deplorable that the Panthers had Thomas Davis playing with a broken arm, risking massive pain and further injury on every single snap, while Cam wasn’t willing to dive for a fumble because there was some small chance he MIGHT get hurt doing so.

  73. Eroseann894 says:
    Feb 10, 2016 1:50 PM
    Recently-minted HOFer Favre did the same in the ’09 NFC championship game when instead of running for extra yards he threw the ball up for grabs.

    Really? No other qb woulda finished that game. Cam woulda tapped out after getting demolished the way Favre did in that game. Favre could barely walk that’s why he threw it. Favre lost a super bowl one time also but he didnt act like a big baby.

  74. He already won the award he valued most: the MVP, an individual award. He could care less about a team award. People are already making excuses for him, which has probably been happening his entire life. It’s sad that Carolina just paid him all those millions for that type of attitude and effort when it matters most. I hope he never sees another super bowl unless it’s from his couch. Hell, Davis was playing with a BROKEN ARM! How can Newton even look him in the eye now?

  75. mogogo1 says:
    Feb 10, 2016 3:23 PM
    It makes it all the more deplorable that the Panthers had Thomas Davis playing with a broken arm, risking massive pain and further injury on every single snap, while Cam wasn’t willing to dive for a fumble because there was some small chance he MIGHT get hurt doing so.
    I wish I could give this a million thumbs up.

  76. I always wondered how many takes it took to finishthat yoghurt commercial. Like his response here, even the finished product is hard to understand.

  77. Let’s see…

    His reasoning is that..”If I had dove after it, I might have contorted my leg funny.”


    No-one.. when diving for a fumble, or a tackle, or whatever, is thinking “How will my legs bent.” It’s all instinctive, reactionary. and thinking about how their legs may get bent is never, ever, ever in their thought patterns.

    No.. this is Cam grasping for anything remotely plausible, hoping he can convince both himself and everybody else.

    Nobody is buying it. Not the coaches, not other players. But they’re being kind… they’re not calling him on it.

    But you can bet… next fall, there will be trash talking on the playing field about it. Guaranteed.

  78. That’s an insult to qb’s like Dalton and Luck who will knife in and take out an interceptor for their mistake without thought.

  79. In the 4th quarter of Superbowl 44 when Peyton Manning threw the interception to Tracy Porter who was on his way to the end zone, Manning made a big effort to try to stop Porter. Manning was crushed in the process, but he tried. That’s how a good player reacts in crunch time.

  80. I can’t believe this is actually a thing. I’m no fan of Cam’s, but he did more than any other qb would do in that situation. The guy hesitated for a quarter of a second, big deal. He couldn’t dive on the ball, because it was so close. He had to just fall on it, and the Broncos were already on the ground grabbing it. Cam earns a lot of his criticism, but this is totally overblown. Everyone is just parroting what Jim Nantz and Phil Simms said. And really, there’s nobody who I’d ever want to agree with less than them.

  81. It sounds like most people think this will be the defining play of his entire career, despite the fact that he’s got at least another ten years ahead of him, if not more.

    Cam screwed up by not jumping on the ball, no question. It sounds like his detractors would prefer he simply crawled in a hole and never be heard from again.

    To have one’s career judged and defined by one’s worst act makes me wonder if those doing the judging would hold up under similar scrutiny.

    The hate for Cam Newton is starting to rival the hate we saw for Tim Tebow. Those who get their fulfillment from watching someone prominent screw up on the big stage have bigger problems than the person who screwed up. It’d be nice to see at least some of these detractors come to realize this at some point.

  82. Listening to Cam Newton is like a stream of cliches, catch phrases & mixed metaphors from random video games & sports movies.

    10¢ head on a $1M physique…and the replay of his reaction to the fumble seems to indicate that he *may* be like Tin Man 😉

  83. Good QB, but he made a mistake at the wrong moment. This would be a non story by now if he just said that straight up right away. Everyone makes mistakes and he did here. Now lets move on.

  84. I actually kind of doubt it was fear of injury that made him not dive after the ball. I think he had a brief “oh no, why me?” moment and mentally pouted for a second, which took his focus off how important the game situation was.

    That would be consistent with the rest of his character. He isn’t afraid of getting injured, I’ve seen him dive over the goal line before. But I think the idea that he might be a little mentally fragile is so abhorrent to him that he would rather say he did it to avoid breaking an arm.

  85. I think you all need to just drop this. I understand this isn’t a news site, it’s a blog. But Cam Newton – like him or not – has proven time and again that he is willing to throw himself bodily into other situations that most QBs wouldn’t (Brady? you jest!). He doesn’t have to prove guts or toughness. Maybe he proved a little sense in this case. Plus, that fumble did not decide the game.

    Plus I don’t recall which NFL team you played for? Or college? Or anywhere?

  86. I can understand this. QBs are trained to protect themselves. Its hard in a split second to ignore that which has become habit.

    I do NOT understand the post game press conference or the bigger hole he dug with the good loser = loser comment. That is where I have a problem with him.

  87. Reddzen: with 4 minutes left down by 6 Cam chooses NOT to go after a fumble & you think that is acceptable ? Then you have the NERVE to criticize 4 time super bowl winner, 3 time MVP of the super bowl Tom Brady? You are delusional !

  88. The man upstairs couldn’t have drawn this scenario up any better. I see many orchestrated first down and TD celebrations coming against Carolina centering around wussing away from a fumble.

  89. Also, and others have said this – at game speed you are reacting not thinking. He saw Ware and others coming out of the corner of his eye and decided to get his leg out of the way. These are the very same instincts and body awareness that allow Cam to be such a physical player at the QB position without sustaining the serious injuries you might otherwise expect.

  90. It is amusing to see media fall over themselves to protect Newton as their hero had shown both far less talent, far less intelligence, and far less guts than they have constantly projected as he shined over inferior defenses for the most part.

  91. wendyohno says:
    Feb 10, 2016 2:04 PM

    Speaking of Cam, what happened to his tv ads? Looks like they have been pulled. Doesn’t he know his sponsors have no right to judge him?
    Maybe you’ve started watching daytime game shows or something, but I still see plenty of Newton’s ads all over the place.

  92. What BS. His instinct is to not recover a fumble?
    Tell me that sits well with his team mates.
    I’ll bet you some of them aren’t buying Cams BS spin.

    And I’ll bet you that players on other teams don’t believe a word of it.

    I hate Tom Brady, but he would have dived on the ball.
    And I think Peyton would have too (though he’d be ineffective)

    >>catman72 says:
    Feb 10, 2016 5:54 PM
    Also, and others have said this – at game speed you are reacting not thinking. He saw Ware and others coming out of the corner of his eye and decided to get his leg out of the way. These are the very same instincts and body awareness that allow Cam to be such a physical player at the QB position without sustaining the serious injuries you might otherwise expect.

  93. How does NOT HAVING THE BALL WHEN TRAILING in the 4th quarter help the Panthers win the Super Bowl?

    catman72 says:
    >>So if he goes for the fumble and gets his leg snapped in half, how does that help the Panthers win the super bowl?

  94. That was his Donovan McNabb puke moment. Love it that he’s gonna have to tug that sucker along with him for the rest of his career. Good luck dabbing in the future. If I were a defender, I’d laugh right in his face.

  95. Eh, Peyton did exactly the same thing during the first play safety in the 43-8 shellacking, and everyone blamed his O-line. Go back and watch how he gives up chasing the loose ball the second he realizes he’ll get tackled. So by that measure in a few years Cam should win a SB by letting the defense carry him around.

  96. His coaches n teammates circled the wagons, but you gotta believe most of them deep down inside agree with the prevailing thought, Cam picked the wrong time to make a “career decision”. —————————————–
    This will be tough to overcome, that “can’t be trusted in the big game” label is gonna stick for a while.

  97. His teammates let it all hang out and pulled together, only to see this guy quit on them because he was scared of getting hurt.

    Nope, no excuses.

  98. Cam is big and strong, much more of a mans-man than Wilson…but it is almost a guarantee Wilson would have recovered that fumble, especially after fumbling the ball three other times and throwing a pic.

    The difference between the two is simple…all about football intelligence.

  99. The Panthers were going to lose anyway that play wasn’t the game decider but Cam should have fought for that ball.

  100. catman72 says:
    Feb 10, 2016 5:49 PM
    So if he goes for the fumble and gets his leg snapped in half, how does that help the Panthers win the super bowl?
    It gives Derek Anderson and the Panthers a 5% chance of winning instead of a Blutarski 0.0% chance.

  101. If nothing else, it confirmed what people were saying about Newton. I guess they weren’t simply racist comments, Cam is a chump. Who’d have thought, right?

  102. Getting flattened going for a fumble is one thing, trying to live down the ridicule that you didn’t is something else. Bruises and broken bones heal faster. I’ll take former, like it or not.

  103. “So if he goes for the fumble and gets his leg snapped in half, how does that help the Panthers win the super bowl?”

    This sounds like how Cam thinks with everything revolving around Cam. Failure to get the fumble equals defeat. NOTHING at that moment was more important than trying to recover that ball. If you know ahead of time Cam and 4 other Panthers get knocked out of the game recovering it, you STILL send them all in to recover it. If you have to go the rest of the way with the backup it’s still preferable to Denver having the ball inside your 5-yard line with the lead just running the clock down.

  104. In the last game of the 2005 season with the Chargers out of playoff contention, Drew Brees, in the final game of his San Diego contract, went after a loose ball. He had to know there was a good chance he was going to be a free agents and that Phillip Rivers was on the bench waiting to take his job. And yet he still went after the ball. Suffice to say, Drew Brees would have gone after that Super Bowl fumble. What’s $cam’s excuse?

  105. reddzen says:
    Feb 10, 2016 5:21 PM
    I think you all need to just drop this. I understand this isn’t a news site, it’s a blog. But Cam Newton – like him or not – has proven time and again that he is willing to throw himself bodily into other situations that most QBs wouldn’t (Brady? you jest!). He doesn’t have to prove guts or toughness. Maybe he proved a little sense in this case. Plus, that fumble did not decide the game.
    What game were YOU watching? They were down by 6. In the 4th quarter. Plenty of time left. Anything can happen. Please oh wise one, explain how that did not decide the game.

  106. I’ve seen a lot of QBs make tackles after interceptions, but only one got hurt. Dalton. Joe Montana or Tom Brady wouldn’t hesitate to jump on a fumble in the super bowl. But what do Brady and Montana know about super bowls? Cam quit on his team in the super bowl. It is what it is. Some people are ok with that, some aren’t. That’s what makes America great.

  107. reddzen says:
    Feb 10, 2016 5:21 PM

    They were down by 6. In the 4th quarter. Plenty of time left. Anything can happen. Please oh wise one, explain how that did not decide the game.

    I think you just explained it yourself.

  108. Unbelievable comments about Newton who got the crap beat out of him the entire game due to his OL which was run over by Denvers DL and LBs. Newton hung in there the whole game when he, his teammates and his coaches had no control of Denvers defense. People who are calling Newton out because he didn’t, couldn’t, or wouldn’t fall into the fray just don’t get it. Nineteen league games this year and four years in the league and all these people see is Newton leaving a bunch of media hounds and can’t get over a 6′ 5″” man couldn’t fall strait down as Denver easily recovered the ball. Get over it.

  109. Newton has been ripped by some fans as a wimp or a coward for failing to fall on the football, and that’s unfair…..


    oh it definitely IS fair…. giving up 4 minutes before the end of the Superbowl down by a score and if the other team recovers it’s almost certainly game over?

    Cam is just reinforcing the immature, arrogant and selfish rep he’s gotten this year.

    He got shutdown and outscored by the Broncs, who are the real deal… work ethic, experience, and professionalism over dabbing any day

  110. bucks4ever13 says:
    Feb 10, 2016 2:03 PM

    They didn’t lose the game because of that fumble. They could have tied the game had they recovered it though.


    How could they have tied it? They were down six points at the time. A touchdown puts them ahead.

    He had a shot at that fumble, especially since the recovery wasn’t clean. Had he gotten it, the Panthers punt with 4 minutes left and all of their timeouts. Given that Denver was doing nothing but going 3-and-out, they still have an excellent chance to get the ball back and give themselves a shot at a Super Bowl winning drive.

  111. Has a quarterback ever been trained not to try and recover a fumble directly in front of him?

    I get the whole “get out of the way” from an INT return or fumble if he’s not near the ball. He could have just FELL ON IT AS ITS HAPPENING RIGHT IN FRONT!!!

    Tell me its not taught to try and save that turnover for your team in THIS case?!

    Football players play Football.

  112. Granted,the Panthers ran into a buzz saw in the Broncos defense. No doubt about it. However,offensively,it was still anyone’s game,even at the time of the fumble. Here’s a guy who has gone upside-down into the end zone (needlessly) several times during the season,bulldozed over some of the best defensive guys in the league with his legs and massive frame,yet he backs away when there was only DeMarcus Ware going for the ball. Had Newton made an effort and recovered it,the Broncos don’t seal the game right there. There’s just no logic to the excuses he made. It’s the SUPER BOWL,Cam! You let your coaches,teammates and fans down by quitting on them.

  113. I hope he never gets a chance at another superbowl he just doesn’t deserve it he let the entire team down even if he got hurt getting the fumble at least you know you gave it your all. Now he has to live with the fact he’s just in it for the money.

  114. Hes just an over hyped diva. Not worth it to make an effort for the recovery even though its GAME OVER if Denver recovers?

    Then pout and walk out of the post game because you dont take loosing well. Well why didnt you take loosing well when the ball was on the ground and you and Ware appeared to have the best shot at it for a moment?

    @#$% Cam. I was pulling for him and the Panthers as I hate Denver, but after the dust settled Im fine with the more deserving team winning even though it is Denver.. I hope Cam never makes it back, Hes a player I would find it very hard to root for ever again.

  115. In a situation like that where someone is already diving for the ball:

    If it’s one of the bad guys you get down there and fight him for it.

    If it’s one of your teammates you dive and cover him to protect him and the ball.

  116. Tom Brady, Peyton, Rodgers, Eli, Ben, Wilson all would have jumped on that ball and at that moment would have rather take an injury then lose the ball and basically a chance to win. If he gets hurt there, backup comes in, and the team still has a chance to win. Newton doesn’t have what it takes to win a superbowl. You can have all the skill in the world, it will only get you so far.

  117. I am not upset with Cam’s actions with the media after the game. He is entitled to be upset. However, I do not understand his actions at the time of the fumble in SB50 since the Panthers were behind only by 7 points. Ben Roethlisberger couldn’t throw a ball 10 yards in the playoff game with the Bengals yet he still asked to go in. He has that done when he had broken noses as well. Flacco played on against the Rams even though he had two torn ligaments in his knee. There are other examples as well of players fighting on. Cam should have faught for the ball.

  118. I agree with majority about the game, and football players, in general, being instinctual. I can also entertain the reason, or excuses, for that matter, coming from Newton apologists. However, and do keep in mind, while it may be the first time for most, if not all, of these players to step into the field to play in a SB, it is not the first time they’ve stepped into the football field. Most of them have played organized football at some point in their life. When you play football for this much time, one thing that gets engraved into your head, every time you step onto the field, regardless as an offensive or a defensive player, is to GO for the football. Every football player does this and will do this in an event of a fumble. This is instinctual. Kind of like how a soccer player sacrifices his body to kick the ball the other way and prevent the other team from scoring. Or the way a basketball player dives for a loose ball. Or a baseball player stretching his arm and body for that pop up. A punter/kicker would’ve done everything he can to recover that fumble if it happened in front of him. Cam has his reasons for not doing what is instinctual for football players to do in a fumble situation. The problem with that is, a lot of people don’t agree and his actions doesn’t necessarily translate to what a football player would have done.

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