After MVP season, Cam Newton says: “I haven’t climaxed as a player”

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Cam Newton wasn’t eager to revisit this past February. And he didn’t want to talk about next February either.

The Panthers quarterback said Thursday as his team wrapped up minicamp that he was so focused on the work he was putting in this June, that things in the past or future weren’t in his mind.

The reigning MVP said he had plenty to work on this year, and insisted that was his focus.

“I haven’t peaked, I haven’t climaxed as a player, and that’s what I need to get better at,” Newton said. “I always can find ways to take my game to the next level. And just getting everybody on the same page.

“As one of the captains on this team, I take that very pridefully, knowing a lot of people are looking at me.”

Of course, Newton should be used to people looking at him, having been in the spotlight so long.

The last time he was in it, after the Super Bowl, he admittedly didn’t react as well as he’d have preferred. He insists he’s going to continue to be himself, and coach Ron Rivera has defended his quarterback’s passion.

But as camp broke for the summer, Newton said his only thoughts were on the things he needed to improve. He didn’t go down a list of particulars, but the Panthers have the potential to be even better offensively than they were a year ago.

With wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin back after last year’s torn ACL, Newton has a true No. 1 target at his disposal again. So while they didn’t leave themselves much room for improvement, that’s clearly what Newton is looking for.