Cam Newton has apparently impressed his new teammates with his work ethic and conditioning. After the Panthers' informal training camp in Charlotte several Panthers were singing Cam's praises but is that really worth listening to?
Newton got to work with his teammates for the first time, they should expect him to only get better with more exposure but it's a half-speed, informal practice. Plenty of high school football teams have those, too. Plenty of high school football teams suck.
His teammates might be saying all the right things about their new leader but fans should be weary. While Cam should be commended for showing up to a practice for a team he technically isn't a part of until Jerry Richardson starts signing checks, Newton's teammates are paying everyone nothing but lip service right now.
Here are the reasons the Panthers a full of bologna with their praise of Cam.
There has never been a time that I can remember where a player showed up at camp for the first time and someone said, "Damn, this kid is lazy as hell."
Sure after the fact plenty of guys will come out of the wood work and say you were a bust (this isn't about Cam or meaning Cam will be the next JaMarcus Russell, just here to prove a point) and they could see it but no one admits it after the first practice.
Heck, Ryan Leaf was supposed to be as good as, if not better than, Peyton Manning. No one is ever right after the first time they see someone.
There have been plenty of quarterbacks who have amazed in practice, if all of them were studs on the field, no one would ever need to draft a quarterback No. 1 overall.
These guys are basically going through the motions to show the public that the players want to get back to work and it is the jerk owners who don't want to play football.
If you are good enough to play football at the professional level, you should not show up to a offseason "workout" and look bad going at 25 percent.
There are no coaches yelling at you, there is no contact. It wasn't 100 degrees out and the Pantehrs weren't running windsprint. Call me when the effort is past 75 percent before we claim someone looks good.
Sure, this is from a Notre Dame teammate but there are plenty of people (none that I'm aware) who think Jimmy Clausen is a viable quarterback in the NFL.
The Panthers basically have to start Cam sooner than later to justify picking him number one but they still have an relatively young quarterback who basically got thrown to the wolves last year.
Clausen could turn out all right, chances are he doesn't but if there is one voice in that locker room that thinks Cam shouldn't start, at the first sign of trouble, Ron Rivera's job might get a whole lot more complicated.
“He showed up every day early. He’s working hard.”-Jon Beason
“Cam has really just come in and kind of kept quiet...”-Jordan Gross
Stop the presses. Someone who is not used to playing a pro-style offense and is playing catch-up without being able to talk to coaches is showing up early. They didn't say he stayed late though did they.
This should be a minimum standard for a rookie who has no idea for the adjustment they are in for. If Newton isn't eating, sleeping and breathing football and his playbook, his teammates should just give up. Showing up early, doesn't mean anything if you don't get better because of it.
Now, I don't read GQ so this could have happened months before but if you are so focused on getting to know your team, why are you trying to be a fashion model?
Tom Brady did this after he won a Super Bowl, you won the BCS Championship, a nice achievement to go next to your Heisman but, I didn't see Mark Ingram do this last year.
Newton's focus is going to be pulled in too many directions right now. He needs to take this extra time he has with his teammates and bond and get a rhythm with them. Posing for pictures doesn't get you rings.