Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 11/28/12
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has been the target of a ton of criticism this season. Much of it has been warranted, some of it has not. Whether or not he deserves the latest heat that ESPN’s Rick Reilly put on him is open for debate. On Tuesday, Reilly tweeted that Newton held up the Panthers team bus after their win over the Eagles on Monday night — something he also supposedly did earlier in the season while sulking after a loss. Cam Newton is really quick, until it’s time to get dressed. Took him 54 minutes last night. Then did media. Team waited on bus for 40 mins. — Rick Reilly (@ReillyRick) November 27, 2012 Panthers assistant director of communications Steven Drummond took to Twitter on Wednesday to assure people that Reilly’s report is completely fabricated: . @reillyrick report that Cam had team wait 40 minutes on bus is completely false. Cam wasn’t even the last player out of the locker room. — Steven Drummond (@StevenJuston) November 28, 2012 . @reillyrick Cam also took time to meet with @eagles clubhouse equipment guys after meeting with media. He signed their Wall of Fame. — Steven Drummond (@StevenJuston) November 28, 2012 It’s possible that Newton was the last player on the bus if he was indeed meeting with the Eagles clubhouse equipment staff, but it seemed obvious that Reilly’s intention was to make him sound selfish. Many people have taken issue with the way Newton has presented himself in press conferences and other media appearances this season, but my gut feeling is that Reilly was reaching here. While I agree Cam has a poor attitude much of the time, there are obligations that he has as the team’s quarterback and franchise player that other players don’t have. There are going to be times where he is the last person on the bus for reasons beyond his control. This may have been one of those times. H/T Pro Football Talk

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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