Originally posted on Helmet2Helmet  |  Last updated 10/5/12

The last few weeks have not been kind to Cam Newton.

Underwhelming performances, coupled with a woe-is-me, sulking persona, has ignited criticism from fans, media, and even his own teammates. Just a year ago, Newton was tearing up the league as a rookie phenom. Now he’s made a mockery of — in his own town, no less. He’s found out the hard way that it’s not easy playing quarterback in the NFL.

Those record-breaking days must feel like centuries ago to the 23-year-old, who responded to critics this week, explaining (in some detail) how he’s handling the scrutiny.

“A lot of people deal with things differently. Losing is difficult. Period,” Newton said, via the Charlotte Observer. “A person that says losing is not difficult, I don’t even want to be around that person. And obviously, that person has never won anything relevant in their life. So for a person to say, ‘Yeah, we lost and we have to keep going.’ Yeah, you keep saying that, and sooner or later, you’re going to look up and be 0-16.

“So you have to take advantage of every opportunity you have in this league and you have to take it personal. Do I take it personal? Absolutely right. Do I take it too personal? Who knows? But I’d rather take it too personal than lackadaisical.”

There’s no denying Newton cares; he’s already admitted to being a bad teammate in 2011, and was making a conscious effort to improve his attitude. In the public eye, however, he feels he’s in a no-win situation — his highs are too high and lows are too low.

“I’ve been hearing a lot about ‘takes it hard on himself.’ Absolutely right. And I feel as if I was laughing after games, if I was making things a joke, I think people would take offense to that,” he said.

For the most part, Newton is right in the sense that he’s examined under a microscope. But he hasn’t done himself, or his team, any favors by imploding with crucial mistakes — three picks against the Giants, a back-breaking fumble versus the Falcons — that have contributed to the Panthers’ 1-3 record. And if he thinks the local media is rough, imagine how he’d handle the bright lights of, say, New York, where emotionally-fragile players (Mark Sanchez, I’m looking at you) rarely — if ever — succeed.

Truth is, Newton hasn’t been much of a leader this season, nor has he won over the locker room as a true franchise signal-caller. Luckily for Cam, though, there is a lot of football left to be played and many chances to rectify his mistakes.

If he wants the Superman nickname, then he needs to start defeating some villains, himself included.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Several NBA executives have concerns about Lonzo Ball’s father

Kim Mulkey gives awful post-game speech about Baylor scandal

Bill Walton goes shirtless during ESPN broadcast to the dismay of one woman

Sanu: Halftime show played role in Super Bowl collapse

James Dolan is among potential group of investors of new arena for New York Islanders

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Rams, Clippers discussing NBA venue in Inglewood

Terrence Jones reportedly interested in joining Celtics

LeBron reverses course, says he ‘always felt good’ about Cavs

Report: Ole Miss tried to implicate Mississippi State in football scandal

Jamaal Charles could be on the roster bubble

Jimmy Butler on state of Bulls: ‘I just want to win at all costs’

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker