Cam Newton: Carolina Panthers Right to Be Concerned About QB's Mind

Richard Langford@@noontide34Correspondent ISeptember 23, 2012

CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 20:  Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers throws a pass against the New York Giants at Bank of America Stadium on September 20, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Carolina Panthers are reportedly concerned about Cam Newton's head, and it is not because of a concussion. It is because of his thought process. 

ESPN's Chris Mortensen offered up this news on Sunday NFL Countdown, and the's Marc Sessler caught it in print form for all eternity when he noted that Mortensen said the Panthers are "'privately concerned" about what Sessler paraphrased as "their quarterback's mental makeup."

As with any report of this nature, there is a chance that the information is bogus. However, Mortensen is a well-connected individual, and he isn't likely to report something like this without a good indication that the information is legit. 

If this indeed true, it is a terrible move by the Panthers to let this information become available in any way. This is the kind of concern with a high-profile player that should be dealt with behind closed doors. 

Still, that doesn't mean they aren't justified in their concerns. 

Shoot, it appears that Newton himself must be concerned about his own head. Sessler also noted that Mortensen reported that Cam "has logged time with a 'mind coach' to help him adjust to the heightened expectations and pressures surrounding the second-year starter."

The "mind coach" revelation is not nearly as troubling as Newton's performance last time on the field. 

Cam Newton's flaws as a leader were on display under the bright lights of his team's Thursday night loss to the New York Giants

This was not a Jay Cutler-level alienation of the teammates or anything, but it was concerning all the same. 

Newton could be seen sulking on the sideline while his team struggled, and he also partook in an ill-advised celebration of a touchdown that still left his team trailing 26-7. 

This is the kind of behavior you would expect from a wide receiver, not a quarterback. The problem is that QBs have to keep their emotions in control. 

An offensive team cannot see its leader sulking around on the sideline, or celebrating touchdowns that only close the gap to 19 points. 

Newton is a fiery individual, and this sends not just an uneven message to his team, but it can hurt his judgment on the field and cause him to make poor decisions that lead to turnovers. 

Newton has already proven he is a viable NFL starter and an elite weapon, but If he does not find a way to gain some composure, it will stunt his growth as an NFL player.