Mike Shula wants more emotional balance from Cam Newton

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Through two years in the NFL, Cam Newton hasn’t left much doubt about having the necessary physical abilities to be a starting quarterback.

There have been some questions about less tangible qualities like leadership after watching Newton mope on the sideline and get criticized by wide receiver Steve Smith and his own father for the way he carries himself. That’s why one of the areas of focus this offseason for Panthers offensive coordinator Mike Shula is to get Newton to keep things on a more even keel emotionally when things might not be going as well as hoped.

“Probably the biggest thing for him is maintaining that balance,” Shula said, via the Associated Press. “Because everything around you during the football season is going to be up and down. The more you can continue to stay on an even plane and lead the group of guys around you, the more effective you are going to be as a quarterback.”

Newton has admitted to the need to be a more stable presence so Shula won’t be trying to push a boulder up a hill on this front.

By promoting Shula to offensive coordinator and hiring Newton’s pre-draft tutor Ken Dorsey as quarterbacks coach, the Panthers have done a lot to ensure continuity after the departure of Rob Chudzinski to become head coach in Cleveland. That continuity should create a comfortable environment for Newton, which would seem to be a prerequisite for the kind of emotional growth that the team wants to see from their quarterback in the third year of his career.

If it doesn’t happen, there’s a good chance that the Panthers will skid to another losing record and there probably won’t be much continuity come 2014 on the coaching staff.

36 responses to “Mike Shula wants more emotional balance from Cam Newton

  1. I’m a life-long Panthers fan (through good and bad) but yeah… this is necessary.

  2. A little less “Superman” stuff… I remember him celebrating a TD with his lil Superman thing after scoring a TD last year when they were still down by like 24. A little less of the flashy stuff and a little more of the smart stuff and this guy could return to rookie form.

  3. it may be true but I would have liked that to remain in-house. Nothing bad really said however, you know Cam can be a little “kiddish”, I would’ve answered differently…I’m just say’in…

  4. Not unlike RG3, Cam is that whole team.
    I’d rather watch a full episode of “What would Ryan Lochte do?” than watch 4 quarters of a Cam-less Panthers team… just sayin…

  5. Cam did the superman pose in the giants game down 22 to 7 in the second quarter. He was trying to get the crowd hyped up because it was dead. They were only two possessions down and actually still in the game.

    His also only had three turnovers over the last 8 games of the season to 14 touchdowns.

    He’s going to be fine.

  6. Panthers do have a talented offense, but coming from a bucs fan ( Shula was our OC at one point ) this guy is no offensive mastermind to go crazy about. I think you guys needed to grab a WR in FA or the draft, but you guys went with Loutelili and Short ( dont get me wrong, those are 2 good players ) still think you guys needed to put more weapons around Newton. Passing weapons

  7. Let’s take a time warp to when Nolan Nawrocki from Pro Football Weekley did a predraft analysis of Cam Newton. …”does not command respect from teammates and always will struggle to win a locker room”….”Will require a very strong-willed, demanding coach to live up to his potential and avoid the trappings of fame and fortune”…

    Funny how Nolan was criticized for his accurate assessment of a star struck wanna be icon and entertainer. How many critics are eating crow now?

    Not surprised if Geno Smith will fulfill Nolan’s recent assessment and be the downfall of the Jets.

  8. If he didn’t have the temperament of an 8 year old you might have a shot at changing him.

  9. you can’t coach away the “someone shot my dog” attitude.. That’s a “born with” trait that he will never improve…..guy has the skills, just lacks the leadership traits.

  10. While I agree that Cam needs to change – and have thought so since game one – some of what needs changing is the type of character trait that is pretty much set in a man by the time he reaches Cam’s age and experience. You either are a leader or you are not. Cam’s not exactly a whining prima-donna, but he’s not a born leader either. Cam is somewhere in between, not a Jeff George, and definitely not a Peyton Manning.

  11. Take faith Panther fans–this is the exact same progression Detroit baseball fans saw in justing Verlander; too low after a bad inning leading to a bad outing. Any questions about his dominance after learning to control his emotions?

    We all know how ferocious a competitor Cam is, if his biggest problem is finishing growing up as he enters his mid 20’s, NFC South had better watch out.

  12. Isn’t that just a fancy schmancy way of saying “Cam just needs to stop acting like a big baby”?

  13. “Lose the gum and superman pose down 30. There. Problem solved.”

    Three things. 1) I get the Superman pose comment. 2) I don’t believe he’s ever been down 30. 3) Are you really nitpicking about chewing gum?

  14. As a Titans fan, I’m amused when I hear talk about Cam’s emotional and maturity problems. Yes, he needs to grow up–just like most kids his age.

    When you’ve had Vince Young as your quarterback for 5 years, you know major red flags when you see them. Trust me when I say the Panthers future is BRIGHT with Cam.

    Not an Auburn fan either,
    Tennessee Boy

  15. I think Mikey has been watching a little too much Dr. Phil. He should leave the psychology to the psychologists and coach some damn football.

  16. With Tampa, Atlanta, and New Orleans in that division, Carolina will never do anything but disappoint. The only thing Newton can do is to try and finish 3rd and not 4th in that division for the foreseeable future.

  17. Not a Panther fan, but I think the team still has a very good QB. When/if he matures and learns to lead by posture, example, etc, the team will respond and compete.

  18. Cam is growing. that cant be denied. he is an intense competitor that hates to lose…he has carried every team he played for to a championship and had an mvp caliber season doing so in the respective league. its not easy for a winner to become a loser, and actually has taken this a lot better than most “egotistical, conceded, etc..” people would. he progressed the team over two years…and his celebration has more meaning to it then most know. it isnt just for him (the celebration).

    shula was a OC years ago. the name of the game is continuity and Chud left a solid foundation for shula to grow and make his own. cam trusts shula and dorsey.

    the continued growth of all these QBs is so exciting to watch…it makes the NFL interesting while the big wigs are doing everything they can to fight that.

  19. Don’t worry. The heat would still be there if you had a wining record and got your team (which was ranked worse in the league in 2011) to back to back playoffs for the first time in 20+ years. All while throwing a 47 td’s, and playing in the hardest division, with no run game and one reciever, and a cheap Owner. Keep your head up.



  20. As immature Cam Newton can be, his critics are worst. How can one get mad at Cam when he does the Superman celebration when 98% of the touchdowns end in some type of celebration. Cam celebrating down 30 points? What game was that?
    98% of negative Cam articles comes from journalist who don’t cover the Panthers. I hope Cam keep doing the Superman celebration. It’s funny that it makes you guys upset when it’s only a game of football.

  21. Imo as a guy who is roughly Cam Newton’s age, I understand the frustration. He believes he’s the best because he’s been the best all the way up to the NFL and his rookie season was fantastic.

    What Cam has to ingrain in his brain is that you can’t do it alone here in the NFL. Theoretically, maybe you can, but he needs to know NFL history and see that any QB who tried to do it alone failed.

    He needs to have faith, keep working on his passing the ball like Warren Moon would, then trust his GM to give him a team that can help him win a championship. It may take years and it may never happen, but that’s the best option for him to take.

  22. Yep, and we were all stable 24 yr olds when we came up on life! He has a bigger theater to play in, so the rewards/losses of his not maturing are greater. Still, he has to bring home the bacon, like we all had to do. Mentors and family will help.

  23. When I rated him as the 10th best player in the draft it had a lot to do with all of his lowlife tendencies and I think his glaring immaturity was only the third or fourth worse thing about him. Re-watch the combine that year to listen to him hoot and holler nonstop as an example. It might take a few years for him grow up but at least he’s no longer getting arrested or cheating his way through life.

    Nolan Nawrocki crossed a line when he said Cam had a fake smile but the rest of the negatives were pretty spot on. He got a lot of that from GM and scout input by the way.

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