Cam Newton Still Has Lots of Growing to Do Before He’ll Be Truly Great

Jeffri Chadiha at does a really nice job of evaluating the problems with the way Cam Newton handled Sunday’s loss in the Super Bowl.

“We all know it’s painful for players to lose Super Bowls. But Newton’s postgame press conference was hard to watch even with a compassionate lens. He trudged in with a black hoodie pulled over his head, then sat dejectedly for a few moments as reporters asked him questions that he clearly didn’t want to answer. Newton mostly gave responses that amounted to two or three words, as if he had no reason to explain his role in the Panthers’ second loss this season.”

“This is where Newton needs to grow next. He’s always had a problem dealing with losing, and it showed up often when the Panthers were struggling in his first two seasons. It’s one thing to be dejected after a defeat. (‘He came ready to win tonight,’ [head coach RonRivera said. ‘He didn’t come to lose.’) Newton, however, takes sulking to an entirely different level when things don’t go his way.

“People tend to notice that stuff more when you’re the guy who is rocking Versace pants on the way off a team plane or gleefully celebrating first downs. There’s nothing wrong with Newton doing those things until it’s juxtaposed against what we saw on Sunday in the Super Bowl. When that happens, those actions in the midst of success can be construed far more as being selfish and self-absorbed. They can make a good guy with serious talent and an eye toward making the game fun look like a front-runner.”

They’re the difference between a good guy who makes the game look like fun and a preening shmoe.

I have a bit of a problem with Chadia’s criticism of Newton for apparently not diving for a loose ball last in the game.   The guess here is that newton thought the ball way coming back his way.  But he’s right on point with the press conference.

Chadiha points out that some of the greatest quarterbacks of all time have faced the music after a Super Bowl loss with class. Seattle’s Russell Wilson even threw the game-ending interception in a Super Bowl loss to New England last season and handled the whole thing like the stand up guy that he apparently is.

I remember former Carolina wide receiver Steve Smith having to sit Newton down and give him hell for moping after losses or during games when things weren’t going his way. It’s a shame that he hasn’t learned more from it. It’s a shame that he hasn’t grown up more. He won’t ever be truly great until he does.

A Little Flattery Never Hurts

Mary Kay Cabot at describes the meeting between Browns coach Hue Jackson and quarterback Paxton Lynch. Lynch is one of the three top quarterbacks entering the 2016 NFL draft. The others are Jared Goff and Carson Wentz. Cleveland has the second pick after the Tennessee Titans, who don’t need a quarterback after drafting Marcus Mariota last year:

“Jackson met the quarterback at agent Leigh Steinberg‘s annual Super Bowl party, where Jackson won the Steinberg-DeNicola Humanitarian Award given to a head coach and Jimmy and Dee Haslam won it for NFL owners for their charitable efforts.”

Hmmm… Cleveland’s owners and their new head coach take the awards at a party hosted by Lynch’s agent. Coincidence? I think not.

Tom Brady’s Legacy on Display Before Super Bowl 50

Jeff Howe at the Boston Globe describes the welcome that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady got when he was introduced as part of the Super Bowl MVP ceremony on Sunday:

“The Patriots quarterback was lustily booed by the crowd at Levi’s Stadium before the Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers, 24-10, in Super Bowl 50. Of course, it probably didn’t help his cause that the crowd was dominated by Denver fans.”

Yeah, I really doubt that mattered much. The welcome that Brady got is an indication of what people think of the results of the “Deflate Gate” situation that dominated the offseason. Brady got off scott free after a court battle on what amounted to a technicality.

The irony of all of this is that Brady was fighting for his “legacy”. What he doesn’t realize is that fighting this investigation was the worst thing he could have possibly done for it. Had Brady simply explained that he instructed the New England equipment men to deflate the balls a little because he felt that the referees where over inflating them, breaking the rules without the actual intention of cheating, the whole thing would have blown over with minimal fuss. He may well have completely escaped suspension. As it is, his greeting in Santa Clara is an indication that fans aren’t likely to forgive or forget what happened any time soon.