VIDEO: Cam Newton Says Tussle with Norman Overblown by Media

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Cam Newton and Josh Norman’s highly publicized scuffle in Monday’s training camp practice has brought criticism to the franchise quarterback. Questions on his leadership and maturity have spawned concern among Panthers fans, but it is largely due to the media’s indulgence in a popular story.

Cam Newton has certainly had his ups and downs over his first 3 years with the Carolina Panthers. He teeters on the edge of being an elite quarterback at times and other times he regresses into overthrowing receivers and blatantly sulking while hiding under a hand towel after a bad play.

That being said, Panthers fans have a lot to feel excited about. The receivers are revamped, the front seven brutes saw no major losses from last year, and the defensive backs continue to build on the immense improvement they saw the latter part of the 2014 season. Keep in mind, the Panthers are also facing one of the easiest schedules in the league in terms of their opponents’ winning percentages from last season.

Although a training camp scuffle involving a franchise quarterback is far from common, Cam has proven he is a much different leader than the other typically methodical quarterbacks in the league. Newton is fiery. He propels his teammates to play with a combination of grit and pizazz. The Newton-Norman practice fight only proves that further.

As former Pro Bowl center Ryan Kalil stated, “those are the kind of guys you want on your team, guys that won’t back down.” Even head coach Ron Rivera indicated he did not view the fight as an indictment of Newton’s leadership skills.

Even Newton himself took a stab at the media frenzy the incident caused by wearing a Muhammed Ali “Rumble in the Ring” t-shirt in a news conference, stating “You’ve never seen a guy in a red jersey like me.” Newton went on to say he thinks the media is making a big deal out of nothing. Working for a media company, I agree with him.

As the first pick in the 2011 draft, expectations are high for Newton and some questioned whether he deserved the $103.8 million contract extension he received this offseason. The fact is that Newton has never had a particularly strong group of wide receivers and his passing stats are still good. He leads all quarterbacks in rushing yards and touchdowns since entering the league. To top it off, he is still only 26 years old.

If the pieces fall into place, Newton could blossom into a top five quarterback in the league and continually lead the Panthers into the playoffs for seasons to come. Let superman lead his squad how he wants.