I am sure I'm probably just looking into the state of the team and conjecturing as to Cam's mindset a little too much. And maybe I am suffering from the disconnect between Cam's in-person demeanor and mere words online. Or maybe Reed shouldn't have entitled his article Panthers' Newton Stays Positive Amid Obstacles when it's difficult to be positive about the season for some of us right now. Or maybe I am just being too pessimistic, and Cam is just too far removed from the sulking young man---with the towel over his head---on the sidelines who was not used to a losing culture. Perhaps he has found a reason to smile about the season because true Panthers fans all know by now that he does not have a fake smile.
We all know this season's struggles, blah blah blah.
Still, the fourth-year quarterback smiles when asked about his year.
“It’s been great,” Newton said. “We’re number one in our division.”
I mean, what else is he supposed to say? The team is under-performing, and he never would have guessed? Has he lowered his standards on a subliminal level and gotten used to losing in blowout fashion? I will say this, he has matured to a point where if he is upset that we'll never know. His professionalism has been spot-on for one who has had to do so much to lead the team to victory.
But Rivera said the last thing he wants is Newton trying to do too much.“It’s not time for him to carry this team, but rather to lead this team like he’s been doing,” Rivera said. “There are other people that need to step more so than anything. Playmakers have to step up and make plays and we’re not getting enough of them.”
Newton Knows that.
“I’m not saying ‘Give me the ball coach and let me run it because I will do it right,'” Newton said. “I’m not saying that. I can’t do it without the other 10 guys.”
“Last Sunday was unacceptable,” Newton said. “It’s my job to make plays and make sure that ship is driving straight.”
Basically, Newton's supporting cast is not doing enough, and Cam does have to carry the team more than he should, and though he is saying the right things, he is still feeling the pressure. I just wonder what's really going on in his mind, particularly because of a looming contract, tag or free agency off in the distance.