It wasn’t quite the same as Jim Mora’s 20-year-old PLAYOFFS?!? rant, but it stands out on a Thursday full of NFL news.
Panthers quarterback Cam Newton bristled on Thursday after someone mentioned playoffs during his midweek press conference.
“Can we please stop mentioning that word?” Newton said. “I’m trying to get a win. Hell. I’m 0-2. All right? . . . .The important thing for me is, yeah, we know what the grand scheme of things is, but the reality is, like, I’m 0-2. . . .This ain’t no Cinderella [story], like I’m here to win football games. . . . I’m here to win. And when we win, everybody else gets promotions. And when you don’t, a lot of people are gonna get cut along the way. So that’s just the harsh reality of the league that we play in.”
The most notable person to get cut recently was offensive Joe Brady, abruptly fired after both of Newton’s failed starts. He addressed during one of his answers whether he had something to do with the change that was made.
“Do I think I had something to do with it?” Newton said. “The competitor in me, absolutely. Yes. Because the truth of the matter is you don’t lose your job because of success. But where I’m at now is doing what I can control to make sure I have a job, too. Let’s just be honest.”
No one has been fully honest yet about the real reasons for firing Brady. Newton was asked about remaining in Charlotte during the bye week and working with Brady and quarterbacks coach Sean Ryan. He didn’t answer it.
“My focus right now is focusing on what I can control, and that’s just being prepared to go versus the Atlanta Falcons,” Newton said.
Obviously, something happened last week to cause coach Matt Rhule to fire Brady on Sunday afternoon. Rhule surely didn’t plan to do it as the bye week began, or it would have happened before, for example, Newton spent time with Brady (if Newton did indeed do that) working on the offense.
It’s fair to wonder whether Newton and Brady simply didn’t click. As the Panthers were trying to teach Newton the Joe Brady offense, we pointed out that the real challenge was teaching Brady the Cam Newton offense.
Whatever it was, it wasn’t working. And to the extent that Charlotte wasn’t big enough for both Newton and Brady, Brady is the one who got the pink slip.