Steve Smith thinks Cam Newton is pressing


Last October, Panthers coach Ron Rivera said after a loss to the Seahawks that he though quarterback Cam Newton was trying to do too much on the field.

Less than a year later, wide receiver Steve Smith is seeing the same thing from the quarterback in Carolina’s back-to-back losses to open the season. During an interview on WFNZ, via the Charlotte Observer, Smith said that he thinks the quarterback is forcing things a bit too much.

“What the current issue is, you have a young player pressing,” Smith said. “And what do I mean by pressing? You know when a young player, a receiver, if he doesn’t get a lot of passes, all of sudden instead of going down he fights for that extra yard, fumble. That’s what you’re seeing with Cam a little bit, … Young players do it. And he has to understand that. And that’s just part of being young. It’s not just a quarterback issue, it’s tight end, wide receiver, running back. It’s when you press and you have that competitiveness in you. You’re like, ‘Man, I can change things if I just throw it here, if I just do that.’ And that’s the only bad part about a young player is when they press. That’s what’s going on is that pressing.”

If Newton’s pressing, it hasn’t manifested itself in the turnovers you’d expect to see from a quarterback trying to force the ball into tight quarters. Newton is 37-of-61 for 354 yards with three touchdowns and one interception over the first two games of the season. Sunday’s loss to Buffalo saw him move the team more than once, but the pass rush overwhelmed the Panthers line too often and the offense was again mostly limited to shorter stuff as the Panthers failed to score a touchdown on two red zone trips that may have put the game out of reach.

That’s going to have to change for the Panthers to turn things around after the rough start, but the fact that we’re hearing the same things as last year makes it less than a sure thing that a transformation is in the offing.

24 responses to “Steve Smith thinks Cam Newton is pressing

  1. Smith needs to quit making excuses for Cam, who is fully capable of doing his own whining and crying. This year is going to be a disaster. I predicted 6-10 during the off-season and I see now that was way too optimistic. I’m just about ready to start rooting for the Saints instead of the Panthers.

  2. Cam just isn’t mentally tough enough to be a QB in the NFL. Its not like college where you get 8 cupcakes a year and 4 actually tough games, every week is tough in the NFL, you face adversity constantly. Cam just doesn’t handle well at all.

  3. The problem with this team is the front office. You are talking about a franchise who for some reason assumes Steve Smith will play until he’s 52 and won’t go out and sign a complimentary wide receiver next to 89. Lafell isn’t terrible, but you definitely need to make more of an effort to bring playmakers if you draft somebody #1 overall.

  4. I wish Steve just hadn’t said this because from the quality of the comments above mine it’s clear the kind of people who are looking for any opportunity to go after the guy.

    Cam’s played well the first two games of the year, all things considered. He has the worst OL and receiving corp in the league and All-Pro Coaching Failure Mike Shula running the offense. Not really much you can do to overcome all those things.

  5. Smith sees Newton every day and may have some extra insight. I think what is happening is a result of the coaching staff directing Cam to run less. Cam Newton, like Michael Vick, was able to turn busted plays into gains …….. until their coaches tried to make pocket passers out of them. I think Cam Newton could be a more complete QB than RG III, mainly due to his size, if he could just be returned to “Rookie Year Mode”. It was fresh, productive, and fun to watch.

  6. Cam shows in his action he more concerned for his image than being an elite QB. He may be a good QB but he isn’t showing he know how to be a leader and win games that they should win.

  7. Cam is a talented guy, but he’s a case study on how hard it is to put talented guys in the position to win in the NFL.
    Cam aside, the Panthers secondary is going to be the primary reason for any loses this year.

  8. Ahh “Mental makeup” “Mental toughness” the new racial code words.. It use to be “leadership”..and “intangibles”..

    Just fire the Coach already.. he sucks.. the o coodinator only has the job because of his last name.. (instead of the racial code words.. why no examination of the overwhelming effects of having a white father in coaching in assisting your resume?)
    The owner is a laughingstock.. Young Mr Newton should play out his contract and exit Charlotte fast.. John Fox left for a reason.. they’ve never had a real head man since then..

  9. You guys crack me up with your final judgements on Cam as being inferior. … What has QB had the most prolific two-year start in NFL history? Oh, yeah, that’s right …

    Not a Panthers fan or an Auburn fan, but I know tremendous and obvious talent when I see it.

    -Titans Fan

  10. ” I know tremendous and obvious talent when I see it.” — Titans Fan

    Me too, Titans Fan, and men with tremendous and obvious talent win games. Cam’s “prolific two-year” start means squat when his team loses game after game after game, often in the fourth quarter.

    Being a Titans Fan, you should feel our pain regarding losing.

  11. I believe that after making these comments, Steve Smith immediately got up and talked smack to the reporter…just like he does after every 5-yard catch.

    This guy needs to learn to respect himself, the game, and his teammates.

    PS- Hey Steve, that was Leodis McKelvin that blanketed you in the 2nd half

  12. chitownjeff says:
    Sep 17, 2013 12:43 PM
    Ahh “Mental makeup” “Mental toughness” the new racial code words.. It use to be “leadership”..and “intangibles”..

    Good grief…most people do not question the mental makeup and toughness of EJ Manuel , Colin Kaepernick or Russell Wilson do they? Geno Smith and Terrelle Pryor have both shown that same toughness so far also. Meanwhile, lots of people have questioned the mental makeup of guys like Jay Cutler, David Carr, Ryan Leaf, etc.. How about judging people individually…you know like you aren’t doing?

    Cam Newton is a person, not a race. Too bad you dismiss his actual qualities, whatever they are,in favor of an agenda.

  13. Yes, Leodis McKelvin was able to cover Smith one on one! McKelvin is good….. but not THAT good. He’s 2nd string these days on a Bills team not known for stout secondary. Panthers need to be thinking Corner and Wide Receiver when the Draft rolls around.

  14. The problem is not Cam Newton pressing, but the simple fact that he has no idea what the defense is going to do post snap. Nor does he seem to know where his receivers are post snap. This is evident from his having a clean pocket with all the time to throw, but having to wait and see his guy get open. Elite quarterbacks anticipate these openings, Newton shows no anticipation. Granted the receivers could be better and so could the o-line, however, an elite QB would make hay with this group. Newton is pathetic.

  15. I will tell you his problem which is the same for alot of the younger more mobil QB’s He is throwing off his back foot on almost every play. Instead of stepping into throws like you are suppose to, he is falling aways and making the pass. Simple as that. Watch the film.

  16. what is the definition of mental toughness….how can it be measured….because a man is doing the best he can to produce but the ingredients they give you don’t work how does that make you mentally not tough…look at Brady against the Jets he lashed out because he wasn’t getting help from none elite talent, he throws his fits go on his rants what people say oh that’s Tom Brady he can do this that and the third, he looked just like Cam on the sidelines….no one wants to lose…given the talent or lack their of makes any person accustomed to winning very uneasy…Look at Ben Rothlisberger recently how he and Todd Haley has been on the sideline Everytime something goes wrong he is pouting….no one see these guys acting that way but can always point out what he is doing wrong….

  17. Here we go AGAIN. EVERY SINGLE article that mentions Cam Newton is buried by comments that prove whatever the article was about proves that Cam is the most evil human being to ever walk the Earth. When are you people going to realize that the stolen laptop was 5 years ago and that CECIL Newton, NOT Cam, was the one trying to score money in 2009-10. Bob Griffin came back way too soon from the ACL tear. Doesn’t that make him evil and selfish, like putting a towel over his head? Why doesn’t Sunday’s game prove that Kapernick was a 1-year wonder and he is now awful? That’s what you say after every bad game Cam has.

  18. Hey jonathang—-n, To be able to anticipate where your receivers are going to be, you have to have confidence in your receivers’ abilities to get open. With the exception of Smith and Olsen, Newton hasn’t had anybody in whom he could have confidence. At least, now, he can have assurance that Ginn will be behind anyone trying to cover him. Lafell has been a bust. Hixson has been lame. Even I as an App. St. fan have about given up on Edwards. And, the Cats released Gettis who showed the most promise during preseason. How many times does the front office have to be told that Cam needs better targets who can get open???

  19. Teek77, I agree our receiving corps has been lacking, however, Ginn was open 4-5 times and would have had big plays had Newton not been staring down his primary receiver waiting to see him get open. That is a lack of awareness on his part due to not reading the coverage and sticking to a single receiver. Couple that with bad foot work and you have maddening inconsistency.

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