Dec 23, 2012; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) walks on the sidelines during the fourth quarter against the Oakland Raiders at Bank of America Stadium. Panthers defeated the Raiders 17-6. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Cam Newton and Expectations

We all have expectations. Whether it be at work, home, society. Sometimes those expectations can get the best of us, causing us to fold in the face of pressure. Expectations can also cause us to rise in stature accomplishing things that once seemed impossible. I think Cam Newton has dealt with and is dealing with his fair share of expectations.

From a performance standpoint it is safe to say that on most occasions he has risen to the challenge and then some. Of course he has taken some lumps along the way and learned some valuable lessons. Say what you want about his character, but make no mistake Cam Newton is not afraid of expectations on the football field. The problem seems to be with him meeting those expectations off the field.

I think going into his 3rd year in the NFL now is the time something must change. No one doubts Cam’s preparation for each and every game. No one doubts his determination to be one of the best on the field of play. The problem seems to be the overwhelming perception that he is failing to meet his character expectations. What he needs to understand is that the NFL at the end of the day is first and foremost a business. Everything that you say good, bad, or indifferent defines you in the eyes of the media and fans alike.

In order for the Panthers to truly take the next step, Cam Newton has to spend just as much time developing his character as he does his play on the field. He must meet the expectations placed upon him by former and current great quarterback’s in the NFL. I want to see him rip the S off his chest and replace it with a C for captain. His current contract will be done sooner than later and the hourglass is running out of sand. He has said on more than one occasion that he could see himself staying in Charlotte with the Panthers longterm.

The good news for Panther fans is that we witnessed some steps in the right direction down the stretch last season. With nothing to gain we watched as Cam kept this team together, putting his ego and swag aside while helping save coach Rivera’s job. Stepping even further in the right direction we saw him play through injury against the Saints. Jordan Gross complemented him on both his growth and leadership. If this trend continues it will not be long before Cam Newton will be the captain of this team. Once that happens, the media will be forced to set aside their agendas and get their popcorn ready. The sky will not be the limit.

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