Cam Newton’s college coach sees on- and off-field maturity

AP

Since we’re at the time of year when ambiguous suggestions of “character concerns” get tossed around a lot, it’s probably worth noting that the concept of maturity is not static.

Players can, sometimes, possibly, acquire it over time. You know, as they mature.

Perhaps no player was questioned so vigorously in recent pre-draft run-ups as Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, but his college coach said he’s been impressed with what Newton has done on and off the field since leaving college.

I think he understands there’s no other way to survive and be good at your craft without really growing up,” former Auburn coach Gene Chizik said, via Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer. “I know he’s a guy that’s going to come in early and be one of the last ones to leave. I know that. We talked about that, him coming in early during the season and being one of the last ones to leave. That’s what he needs to do to be great, and he’ll do whatever he has to do to be great.

“As far as being able to handle pressure situations and all outside interference, he was the best I’ve ever been around in terms of eliminating distractions. So in that regard, he was probably wise beyond his years. But as a football player in terms of maturing and in conversations I’ve had with him, I think he’s a different player because he knows what it takes at that level to excel.”

Chizik, now the defensive coordinator at North Carolina, was Newton’s coach during a national championship run at Auburn. So he obviously has a soft spot for a guy who helped him win a trophy. But Chizik said Newton’s leadership traits were apparent then.

“He would call the wideouts on Saturday mornings and get them out of bed and say we need to go throw,” Chizik said. “At first they were a little bit resistant to it, and he was very adamant and persistent to make sure they were spending the extra time to do it. They hadn’t done a whole lot of that. He was the guy who rallied the troops and said, ‘Meet me over there. I’m going to be there whether you are or not.’ And they started to do that.”

That might surprise some. At least those who bought into the “fake smile” narrative, or discount the fact that sometimes college kids actually grow up.

21 responses to “Cam Newton’s college coach sees on- and off-field maturity

  1. Doesn’t matter how mature he is on or off the field..the man has no weapons on offense that could propel him into elite status..so it’s kinda hard to judge how good he actually is right now

  2. If you’re looking for 9-7 or 10-6 seasons with a one & done playoff appearance, Cam’s your guy. He’s just not that good

  3. As stated, Cam has always been a leader among his peers. Unfairly attacked by media with an agenda, he has persevered despite not having close to the support of the other young QBs.

    All we hear is how much support is needed to put Andrew Luck over the top. He’s surrounded by weapons. Cam’s never had an AJ Green, a T.Y Hilton, a Julio Jones or any top WR. It’s laughable what he’s had to do and to hear all the criticism from those who were sure he would fail before he took a snap.

    The Panthers are lucky that he hasn’t demanded OL help and WR options.

  4. I know it just pains all the people that come to this site who are not Patriot fans to hear this but the ultimate standard by which quarterbacks are graded in terms of making lemonade out of lemons is Tom Brady. Now I say that because I believe that if I had the sad misfortune of being a Carolina Panther fan I would be completely happy with Cam Newton as the quarterback. Again I reference the Brady because I do not believe the Panthers support Newton quite as well as he needs to be supported. I’m not talking about players I’m talking about having great coaching to help him with his development. Somewhere along the line it was absolutely drilled into Brady’s head that turning the ball over and making risky throws is a horrendous idea that will get you benched. so as a result Tom doesn’t often turn the ball over and put his team in terrible position and cam because he seen as a savior often tries to make save your type plays and throws and if they don’t work out perfect often leads to disaster. I think if Newton gets the proper coaching support and a few other weapons couldn’t hurt as well he will be a year in, year out, pro-bowl kind of guy. as for maturity? I think you could improve a little bit more or less as just a fan of the guy and the game in general I don’t think he has any real maturity issues on or off the field. he can be a little whiny and a little pouty but he certainly no Jay Cutler.

  5. Hardest running QB in the NFL. No chicken slides for this guy. He plays like a man.

  6. He seems like a nice guy and I like the fact he looks for a kid to hand TD balls too. However, I’m also in the camp that he’s not really that good of a QB and gets more praise than he deserves for his level of play.

  7. If this kid had a OC who worked with him, a GM former giants Gettelmen who picked up some ODJ types, Cam would with doubt step up and make these guys better, as he gets better.
    Your front office has to feed the offensive from O-line to TE, and RB. Whatever the team needs has to come from them.
    That gives Cam a huge esteem boost and he could be the QB that stops running and develops his arm, as good QB’s due.
    Fills the team up, let this kid lead the team.
    CT GIANT

  8. Yeah cause Cam is known as a consummate professional with the utmost maturity lol

  9. Distractions? You mean the whole ” Auburn bought and paid for Cam Newton” stuff??

  10. Cam Newton is the real deal with the Panthers. He lacks weapons and that is what happens with an OC & HC who doesn’t understand Up tempo and no huddle.

    Conservative and controlling the clock isn’t exactly how you win games either. It’s an element you use when you have a lead.

    All you have to do is look at Cam’s first 2 years under Rob Chudzinski and thelast 2 years under Mike Shula. 1. it tells you HC Ron Rivera is not a NFL HC. Meaning he turns everything over to his OC. 1st OC Chud put Cam on the map with his first game with over 422 yards being drafted in a lock out year. That wasn’t Rivera that was Chud.

    Last 2 years under OC Shula Cam has been just about removed to a point that Derek Anderson came and won 2 games. Not Saying DA isn’t good, but you could stick any QB in this system and go 7-8-1.

    Seriously cutting the whole WR corps, keeping Avant & Cotchery, Bersin and we depended on 2 Rookies Benjamin and UDFA Corey Brown which was one of the high lights last year along with LG Andrew Norwell. Both from Ohio State.

    It boils down to coaching and I’m sick of hearing how bad Cam is. Mike Shula was his QB coach under Chud and now Ken Dorsey is QB coach.

    I sick of hearing Rivera stating Cam needs work. Well Rivera the finger is pointed at you after 4 years it would seem a good HC would find someone to work with Cam. My lord man Cam had to teach Rivera and Shula No Huddle.

    Get Cam Weapons and turn him loose. Then fire Shula and hire a OC who can build off Cam’s strengths and not some designed QB run Game where Cam leads the RB group in rushing yards.

    What HC & OC has 10 plays set for their franchise QB to run as a RB in every game. Most RB’s don’t touch the ball more than 30 times any more with 2 RB’s.

    This is the “No Excuses” by coaching year.

  11. Panthers just lucky they had the tie to save them & by rule just enough to win the division to get to the playoffs even tho it was the worst in the NFC!!! Goodell will change it to best record & when he does will eliminate them if it happens again, but the Panthers suck anyway 3rd place in division thos year Cam is starting to suck!!!

  12. So lounging by the pool all week at the Pro Bowl and not cracking open the playbook didn’t happen?
    Read the local newspapers. Reporters are still questioning his maturity.

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