If Cam Newton seemed more upbeat during the Panthers' 28-13 win at Houston last week, it was not by accident.
The rookie quarterback said he tried to improve his body language and keep his negative emotions in check after offensive linemen Jordan Gross and Ryan Kalil talked to him about it before the game.
Newton, who has drawn criticism for hanging his towel-covered head on the sideline after bad series, was more animated against the Texans. After Houston cut the Panthers' 21-point lead to 8 in the second half, Newton came into the huddle and was encouraging his offensive teammates.
The Panthers proceeded to go on an 80-yard touchdown drive to increase their lead back to 15, then ran out the clock with five first downs on a final drive that consumed more than seven minutes.
Newton referred to Gross and Kalil as the “real heroes,” and said their words made an impact on him.
“They always get on me – I have a bad tendency of showing my emotions on my face. I have to change it, and I'm...