Cam Newton Must Change How He Publicly Handles Setbacks, and More NFC South News

Knox Bardeen@knoxbardeenNFC South Lead WriterSeptember 7, 2012

CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 09:  Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints shakes hands with Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers  after defeating the Panthers 30-27 during their game at Bank of America Stadium on October 9, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

I'll be the first to admit that I've criticized Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton on multiple occasions for his down-in-the-mouth methods of handling adversity.

Whether disgusted with himself for poor play, or poor outcomes, on the field by hanging his head or getting short and testy with the media at postgame press conferences after a loss, Newton, at times, was a sour puss last year.

"I've heard [that I should] control my body language," Newton recently told Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports. "That's one thing I do have to change. But other than that, the mentality will always be the same. There's no faking about me."

Apparently, offensive linemen Ryan Kalil and Jordan Gross spoke with Newton last season on the topic, and Newton told Yahoo! during the offseason that he was a "bad teammate."

Newton thinks it's a matter of never settling, never accepting anything but the best for himself.

"If I were to tell a person my goals," he says, "it might blow their mind—so I'd rather keep it to myself. But my expectations for myself will never be exceeded by someone else."

So Newton will keep fighting and will continue to be angry when he doesn't get the outcome he desired. That's just in his nature.

Newton wants to succeed and wants to achieve perfection. How he handles not getting there, well, that's on him. Angry is fine—it's probably good. Moping is bad. The Panthers will take an angry Newton, because a driven, angry superstar can do wonderful things at times.

Moping just gets your picture in the paper for the wrong reasons.


Atlanta Falcons

Team owner Arthur Blank told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that head coach Mike Smith was not on the hot seat.

Tony Gonzalez spoke before practice Thursday about returning to Kansas City for the first time as an opposing player (Atlanta Field Report).


Carolina Panthers

According to the Charlotte Observer, Dwan Edwards was released by Buffalo on Friday, signed by Carolina on Tuesday and will start for the Panthers Sunday.

Former backup safety to Ed Reed, Haruki Nakamura will make his first start for Carolina on Sunday (Charlotte Observer). 


New Orleans Saints

Running back Travaris Cadet was forced to play a cruel waiting game last Friday and didn't know what to expect about his chances of making the 53-man roster (Times-Picayune).

Cameron Jordan is looking to shake his "only good against the run" tag as an every-down defensive lineman this season (Times-Picayune).


Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Josh Freeman went from six interceptions in 2010 to 22 last season. With a bunch of new weapons on offense, the Tampa Tribune wrote Freeman is looking to bounce back.

Lavonte David and Cam Newton have a little history. According to the Tampa Bay Times, David and Newton faced off in the junior college national championship in 2009.