Everyone knew at the end of last season that Cam Newton was just not himself.
In an interview with Peter King, Newton said he should probably have been held out of action, but wanted to prove he was a leader.
“As a quarterback in this league, you’re unanimously the leader, right?” Newton told Peter King of Football Morning in America. “I felt as if I wanted to give my team everything that I had honestly. Being hurt, being injured… looking back at it, it probably wasn’t the smartest, efficient thing, knowing that I left it all out there on the field. And if you asked me if I’d do it again, I’d do it again. I just know my worth to this team—know how much these guys believe in me and how much I believe in them. If I’m willing to do that, and I know I’ve seen other guys do the same thing, too.”
The Panthers started last season with a 6-2 record but ultimately collapsed, losing seven consecutive games. Cam was shut down after Week 15.
Newton underwent arthroscopic surgery on his throwing shoulder in January and admitted after that he couldn’t throw the ball 30 yards downfield.
Newton went on to tell King that he knows he has to evolve as a player, like every aging athlete does.
“You can look back at any type of player,” Newton said. “You can look back at any type of sport and as a player grows, your game has to change. I remember reading and seeing a lot of clips about Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Brett Favre, even Peyton Manning to a degree. When you get old, you have to change certain things. It kind of keeps you young. I actually look forward to it. I embrace this whole process because it’s made me feel like a rookie again. Learning certain things, learning new mechanics, focusing on the little nuances of playing a quarterback position and trying to master it. So at this point in my career, it’s not about velocity. It’s not about throwing a ball 70 yards. It’s about efficient football that’s gonna win football games.”
Coach Ron Rivera said last week that all of Cam’s reps will be monitored as he works his way back into the routine. Quarterbacks coach Scott Turner said that Newton has “no limitations” on throwing deep passes.
Newton’s full interview with Peter King:
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