Panthers vs. Falcons: Cam Newton’s on the hot seat

Falcons head coach Mike Smith and Panthers quarterback Cam Newton greet each other at mid-field during pregame warmups last season. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

Falcons head coach Mike Smith and Panthers quarterback Cam Newton greet each other at mid-field during pregame warmups last season. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

FLOWERY BRANCH — Carolina quarterback Cam Newton had a spectacular rookie season, but is off to a bumpy start in his second season.

Wide receiver Steve Smith didn’t think Newton’s late-game sulking was befitting a leader and ordered him to get off the bench, where he was alone and under a towel, and stand on the sidelines with the rest of the quarterbacks.

The Panthers hope to bounce back from the chaotic exchange that Smith made public a day after the Giants game.

“It was a thing Steve and Cam had to make up with each other,” linebacker Thomas Davis said. “We’ve done a good job in house of keeping everything grounded and making sure that everybody is on the same page.”

Panthers coach Ron Rivera also believes that things have been worked out.

“Steve is one of our team captains, one of our veteran team captains, and he felt like it needed to be said,” Rivera said. “I told Steve I have no problem saying what he did to Cam. I talked to Cam about it, and he has no issue with it. Cam understands he is one of our leaders and guys will look to him. The only disappointment I had, and Steve and I talked about it, it was made public.”

The Panthers need Newton, who’s from College Park and played at Westlake High, to be a leader. But when things don’t go well, he tends to pout and sulk. He was despondent last season after a loss at the Georgia Dome.

“The Panthers have had issues that they have to address,” Fox analyst John Lynch said.

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16 comments Add your comment

Marcus

September 28th, 2012
2:28 pm

Let the sadness continue, Mr. Newton.

I just hope we don’t give a ‘bounce back’ game for him.

Marcus

September 28th, 2012
2:29 pm

^^^^^^^
Throwback Otis Nixon jersey ….holla!

I usually just read but...

September 28th, 2012
2:49 pm

Cam Newton = Vince Young.

Barry

September 28th, 2012
3:15 pm

HEY Y’ALL:

CAM WILL BE IN OUR HOUSE,” THE GEORGIA DOME” ON SUNDAY. OUR DEFENSE AND OUR OFFENSE WILL BE IN FULL SWING AND HUNGRY TO MAKE CAMS DAY AWFUL HERE IN THE ATL. THIS WON’T BE PRETTY Y’ALL!!!! AND WE AIN’T FEELING SORRY FOR NOBODY IN OUR HOUSE!!!. CAM, GET READY TO SULK. GET READY TO SULK IN “ONE HEARTBEAT!!!!”. THUMP!!!!!!

GO FALCONS!!!!!!!

THE ‘PROCESS’ CONTINUES TO THE SUPER BOWL!!!!!!!

‘FALCONS, RISE UP!!!” WE “RISE UP!!” IN ‘ONE HEARTBEAT!!!”. THUMP!!

This is a SECRET from a FALCON FAN. TELL EVERYBODY!!!!!!

…………………….”ONE HEARTBEAT, BABY!!!…………………

P B Orr

September 28th, 2012
5:01 pm

The thing of sitting with a towel on his head away from his offense is really strange. That’s kicker country.

technut

September 28th, 2012
8:09 pm

@ I usually just read: good insight, very true.

ATL Ninja

September 29th, 2012
4:27 am

a cookie is just a cookie, but a Newton is fruit and cake

ATL Ninja

September 29th, 2012
4:28 am

rfgh

September 29th, 2012
9:05 am

Now that’s funny, ATL Ninja!!!

lw

September 29th, 2012
12:50 pm

What about the defense nobody seems too care on every possession the offense scored and the play calling was horrible. The loss should be on one man but rather the coachin staff

Gamer

September 29th, 2012
1:28 pm

Hopefully, the first unit plays well enough to cushion an insurmountable lead heading into the 4th quarter that we can see some work from Falcons’ backup quarterback and runningbacks………

FALCONS ON THREE, DOMINATE!!!!!!!

[...] head coach Ron Rivera downplayed the exchange, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Steve is one of our team captains, one [...]

Falcon James

September 30th, 2012
6:19 am

Let’s hope Dunta is up to the task of covering Smith. If he is, then Smith will need to take Cam some Tissue.

Jim1

September 30th, 2012
9:43 am

Panthers coach should have taken Cam to the woodshed with his pouting and sulking. But he ignored it and when the game went national tv then it all exploded. Panthers are expected to be very closed mouth to media but Smitty this time didn’t but tried to correct like he does his kids on the team he coaches trying to encourage. I would have preferred Steve Smith’s “other” side that he works so hard to overcome. But then he is easier on rookies.

The towel on Cam Newton’s head is for paid advertising some one noted since it does say gatorade –If that is true it should be illegal.

Ueeediot

September 30th, 2012
10:07 am

I thought Ron Rivera was more of a leader than this. Guess not.

Everything on an NFL sideline says gatorade. Of course its paid advertising. Gatorade is the official sideline sport drink of the NFL. Nothing to do with Cam Newton any more than the ‘Motorola’ written down the side of the headsets.

[...] that contest, veteran wide receiver and team captain Steve Smith actually had to tell Newton to get off the bench and join his team on the [...]