Today on ESPN’s Sunday Countdown, Chris Mortensen reported that the Carolina Panthers are “privately concerned” about Cam Newton and his mental makeup. This comes after Newton was seen “sulking” on the bench after throwing three picks against the New York Giants in the team’s 36-7 loss on Thursday Night Football.
After the game, Steve Smith had some “unchoice words” for Newton, and a lot of it was accurate.
The Panthers have reportedly had Newton work with a “mind coach” in order to help him deal with the immense amount of pressure heaped onto him. Several analysts have criticized Newton for not progressing enough on the mental portion of the game, and that has been a concern for some people around the league. But most of those guys are outsiders, so there is a different type of feeling to the news that Mortensen reported on ESPN.
The expectations of Newton are extremely unrealistic, and a lot of that has to do with the stats-hungry, fantasy-driven NFL landscape surrounding us that players fall into; young players, that is. Newton had a great rookie year statistically and it was extremely promising, but there is just so much hype and expectation around him that every time he screws up; the result is magnified far more than it should be.
I’m glad the Panthers are being proactive to help Newton get mentally ready in his sophomore season, because he is still a developing, young quarterback. I know Panthers fans know this, but fans who don’t follow the team and our star quarterback don’t seem to understand that he hasn’t fully matured yet. This isn’t something to overreact about or to be mad at the Panthers or Cam; it’s simply a team wanting to help their QB with something he hasn’t quite gotten down yet.
There will be more growing pains for Newton, but let’s be patient and watch this special quarterback develop and go at it. Sooner or later, he’ll get it down. Our job is to be patient, let him go about his business, support him, stop knocking him or putting added pressure on him, and let the Panthers organization do what they need to do.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.