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Ken Medlin

Newton brings new approach to Panthers camp

Posted July 26, 2013
Updated July 27, 2013

A different Cam Newton arrived in Spartanburg for Panthers training camp Thursday.

Gone was the pouting youngster who seemed to take each loss as if it were the end of days - the guy who once reportedly alienated his fellow pro bowlers with his brashness.

Instead, a more upbeat and positive "veteran" Cam Newton rolled into Spartanburg.

And by rolled, I mean literally. Cam brought a Segway to camp, and he plans to make that his preferred means of transportation around Wofford.

It's a light-hearted approach for a guy that needed to lighten his tone in the first place. This was the rookie year Cam - the upbeat guy whose smile drew people in, whose enthusiasm served to motivate those around him.

The Panthers need that from their franchise quarterback.

Newton held court with the media for nearly fifteen minutes as training camp opened. He cracked jokes about his clothing line and his Segway. When one media member admitted to "losing his train of thought" during a question, Newton good-naturedly suggested he had a "talking concussion." A question about looking ahead to end-of-season statistics drew another gem: "You guys are looking through binoculars, I'm looking through glasses."

But what really matters is how his teammates see Newton's new attitude, and so far the reviews are positive.

"I've definitely seen a change (in Cam) from last year to this year," said running back Mike Tolbert. "He's more vocal. He takes more command, as you'd think a franchise quarterback would."

Center Ryan Kalil echoed Tolbert's thoughts. "Experience, that's the biggest thing in this league," he said of Newton. "The more time you have to look back and learn from some of your mistakes and grow - obviously those are some of the things you see happening with a quarterback who's in his third year, and that's something that's exciting for us."

Time will tell if Newton has turned a corner towards a leadership role, but the early polling suggest his psychic effect on the team is trending upward. The Panthers need that, and so does Cam.

28 Comments

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  • Hokies94 Jul 26, 5:01 p.m.

    I enjoyed reading this about Cam. Positive statements from some team members. I hope that he can continue on and become a leader.

  • PanthersFan45 Jul 26, 5:13 p.m.

    A Segway ? ...... we'll see how that works out. It does sound like the 3rd year QB has brought a renewed attitude with him, I watched the NFL Network and the entire Panthers team seems very upbeat as camp opened. Maybe Cam has done some off-season "soul-searching". He needs to step it up this year.

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Jul 26, 5:36 p.m.

    I'm glad to see the "New Newton". He has so much God-given talent, and if he's matured, it can only mean good things for the Panthers. I'm also very glad to see Cam connect with his teammates, something that is much needed.

  • bigfella Jul 26, 6:21 p.m.

    He needs to drop the towel routine and grow up.

  • Big Mike Jul 26, 6:31 p.m.

    Gonna be a tough year for this Panther fan when the Seahawks show up in early September..the Hawks won last year in Charlotte. I'm about a small fan wave behind in loyalty as I really pull for the Hawks and Russell Wilson too!

  • COLT45 Jul 26, 6:43 p.m.

    Cam The Scam

  • hi_i_am_wade Jul 26, 6:51 p.m.

    The only question mark on this team is the secondary. Cam showed at the end of last year that he can be an elite quarterback, though he is not there yet. The team signed some good wide receivers. D-Will is still one of the best running backs who hasn't been treated as such by the team the last few years. On defense, Luke Kuchkley (sp?) is already one the best linebackers in the game. The team made a good front 4 even stronger through the draft. Really, the only weak link is the secondary.

    If the coaching can minimize the weakness of the secondary and maximize the rest of the talent, this could be a playoff team. What makes it tough is the NFC South, despite what ESPN wants, is the toughest NFC division. ESPN likes to pretend the NFC East is the best, but every team in the NFC South is good enough to be in the playoffs.

  • NEVER apologize for being white Jul 26, 8:24 p.m.

    All I gotta say is, GO PANTHERS!!!!!!

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Jul 26, 8:24 p.m.

    The only question mark on this team is the secondary. Cam showed at the end of last year that he... View More

    — Posted by hi_i_am_wade

    Good assessment, Wade. I agree about the strength of the NFC South. The Panthers do have a lot of good players, and with Cam's development, I really hope they make the playoffs. I like Rivera, and would like to see what he does with this team.

  • I am not who you think I am Jul 26, 8:32 p.m.

    Scam talks a good game time will tell whether he can back it up. I have doubts about his ability as a leader and a qb still think he would be a better tight end/H-back. OL is getting old and there is no depth on the current squad. The defense couldn't stop the run last year and it wont be different this year. Jon Beason is still recovering from last year and will probably be on IR by the 2nd week of the season. Special teams "MUST" be better or they don't stand a chance. Agree NFC south is stacked I don't see the panthers making the playoffs just on the strenght of the division. ATL and NO are the best in the NFC south and I'm not sure the panthers improved more than Tampa.

    Simply put the panthers may be fun to watch but they will be lucky to win 5 games. Lots of points but no defense...just like last year

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