Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 12/5/12
A lot of people seem to have a problem with Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. Apparently that includes his NFL brethren. That dislike is why the AFC Pro Bowlers played a little different when the 2011 rookie was in the game last year, according to Pete Prisco of CBS Sports. Newton was the only quarterback sacked — by fellow rookie Von Miller — and Texans defensive end Antonio Smith gave the young Auburn product a hard QB hit. Prisco interviewed several AFC pro bowlers — none of whom were willing to disclose their names — about Newton’s attitude in Hawaii and none of them seemed very impressed with his character. “He was a total —-hole,” one AFC player told the CBS Sports columnist. “Who did he think he was? He acted like the big s—. Here he was at his first game and he acted like he was the star. Guys didn’t like that.” Those are harsh words from a player unwilling to put his name to paper. Newton apparently also “dissed” Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis — there were no details given about the dissing. And the 2011 offensive rookie of the year turned down autographs from a fellow player. At least one teammate of Newton’s at the Pro Bowl saw what Prisco was seeing, and thought that AFC players were going unnecessarily hard against the young player. “Cam’s in his own world,” one NFC player said. “He’s a young guy and learning, but he better change. They started rushing him. We were like, ‘what are they doing? This is the Pro Bowl.’ They didn’t attempt that with the other guys. They went after him. He better learn soon. You don’t want to go out there and get hurt at the Pro Bowl.” Newton simply replied “It is what it is”  to the possibly unfair treatment. Newton may not be the most well-liked player among his league mates, but if he can rebound from his sophomore slump and improve upon his impressive rookie season, he’ll certainly have some friends in Carolina — even if he is a jerk.
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