Cam Newton frankly was a bit of a clown in his rookie year. The mega talented Carolina Panthers‘ quarterback made boastful remarks, such as his talent was as big as a planet. He celebrated practically after every first down.
Frankly, he seemed like a me-first player and did not handle the press well after games, especially after losses. Newton has grown markedly from his first to third season. He has bought into the team concept.
He is not trying to play hero ball. He will make big plays when he absolutely needs to, but is no longer forcing the issue. The celebrations after every 10 yards have also been quieted. He has been a much more unassuming leader this season. Letting his play do the talking.
Boy, has it worked. Even though the Panthers started off 1-3, they are now 9-3. Winners of eight-straight. Newton’s growth from his first to third year is a huge part of that. Obviously, the Panthers’ ferocious defense deserves a lot of credit.
However, in close games Newton is now making the play in the fourth quarter to win a ball game instead of a crucial error. For a young quarterback, his growth has been tremendous.
We all know about his size and scary good athleticism. It looks as though he has really honed his passing skills, though. The down field passing game is really working for the Panthers. This is the type of team that can be good on the road and at home.
A solid running game, stingy defense and more-than-capable quarterback could see this team go a long way in the NFC Playoffs.