Panthers QB Newton: ‘Not smartest’ to play hurt

Field Level Media

July 29, 2019 at 6:51 pm.

Cam Newton is on a pitch count in training camp, recovering from offseason shoulder surgery and an injury he now says should have kept him on the sideline.

But with the Carolina Panthers fighting for a possible wild-card spot, Newton said he felt it was his job as the quarterback of the Carolina Panthers to be on the field.

“As a quarterback in this league, you’re unanimously the leader, right?” Newton said in an interview with Peter King. “We needed that game. I felt as if I wanted to give my team everything that I had honestly. Being hurt, being injured … looking back at it, it probably wasn’t the smartest, efficient thing, knowing that I left it all out there on the field. And if you asked me if I’d do it again, I’d do it again.

“I just know my worth to this team – know how much these guys believe in me and how much I believe in them. I’m willing to do that, and I know I’ve seen other guys do the same thing, too.”

With Newton firing the ball forcefully and placing deep throws on the hands of his receivers in early training camp workouts, a message is being sent to those projecting his game will change dramatically after his latest shoulder surgery.

“It’s still speculation. You know, at the end of the day, God has possessed me with things that I’m grateful for,” Newton said. “Now, being older, you kind of look at things different. For me, it’s not that I’m limited with certain things, or that I’m not capable of doing certain things, it’s just other ways to do it.

“I’m not saying I’m not gonna run people over. I’m not saying I’m not gonna run the football. I’m not saying I’m not gonna throw the ball down the field. I’m just in a position now where none of that matters but one thing, and that’s winning football games. If it requires me to do all those things, I’m willing to do it. And if it doesn’t, I’m still fine with that.”

Newton said he looks at his present-day game as an evolution and is not envisioning becoming a pocket passer.

“You can look back at any type of sport and as a player grows, your game has to change. I remember reading and seeing a lot of clips about Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Brett Favre, even Peyton Manning to a degree,” Newton said. “When you get old, you have to change certain things. It kind of keeps you young. I actually look forward to it. I embrace this whole process because it’s made me feel like a rookie again; learning certain things, learning new mechanics, focusing on the little nuances of playing a quarterback position and trying to master it.

“At this point in my career, it’s not about velocity. It’s not about throwing a ball 70 yards. It’s about efficient football that’s gonna win football games.”