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Gross: "Newton is a leader on the team already"

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Panthers rookie quarterback Cam Newton grew up in the Atlanta area and looked up to former Falcons quarterback Michael Vick.

So he is very familiar with his hometown team. On Wednesday Newton offered this assessment of the 2-3 Falcons:

“Of course, we're not playing no slop team. The Atlanta Falcons are known for having an excellent team often. On defense, the praise goes to those linebackers, you see those guys flying around and making tackles.”

Newton called Falcons defensive end John Abraham “a wreck” – and he wasn't referring to Abraham's physical condition. Abraham was inactive for last week's loss to Green Bay with a hip injury.

“You have to be aware of where (Abraham) is,” Newton said. “He's just waiting to explode at any opportunity.”

Meanwhile, the Panthers (1-4) are waiting to turn the corner in close games after four losses by a touchdown or less. Newton, who shows his emotions on his sleeve after a loss, said the Panthers need a win.

“We're real close, but close doesn't get you nowhere. And that's probably the most disheartening thing, knowing how close we are to getting that win and putting us back on the map,” Newton said. “Emotionally, I think we just need a win to hang our hat on, to say we beat this team.”

Panthers left tackle Jordan Gross said he likes the fact that losing hurts Newton. He also pointed out that by Wednesday each week, Newton is focused on the next opponent and not dwelling on the previous game.

In fact, Gross said it would not surprise him if Newton is elected a team captain as soon as next season.

“Everybody likes him. I'd be surprised if he's not a captain next year on out,” Gross said. “He's a leader of the team already.”

--Joseph Person


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Come on guys he's SELFISH!!! He only cares about himself, he also has horrible mechanics, will never be a good passer, can't learn the playbook, and the NFL is too fast for him! It's all in his draft report.

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wasn't it Gross earlier in the year that was critical of cam and the "icon & entertainer" comment?

unless it was well before the draft, i don't remember that being the case. in fact these two guys hit it off right away.

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But what about his fake smile and the fact that he doesn't want to be great?

You go Cam, keep making these "analysts" look like fools.

...still waiting for Charlie Casserly to climb out from the rock he's been hiding under since week 1 and admit that he was DEAD WRONG about Cam.

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i'd like to see mayock admit he was wrong, but that won't happen. he's too stuck on the idea of being a god among draftniks, even though he got it wrong with newton and suh as well as others.

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I wish Cam would respond to my emails in a nice way.

All I get are "stop emailing me creep" and "I will get a restraining order against you".

He is sooo Hot.

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