Cam Newton on season-long struggles: ‘You realize rainy days don’t last’
To make the observation that the Carolina Panthers are in a horrible slump would be a drastic understatement. After last week’s 31-13 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, the Panthers have dropped six-straight games.
The Panthers’ last victory was 31-24 win over the Chicago Bears all the way back on Oct. 5. The team tied the Cincinnati Bengals 35-35 the following week and then the precipitous slide began, leaving the team with a 3-8-1 record an the Panthers on the outside looking in on a chase for the postseason, even in the woeful NFC South, where it is presumed either the Atlanta Falcons or New Orleans Saints, both at 5-7, will win the division.
The team’s struggles, while not solely on his shoulders, arguably begins and ends with Cam Newton. As is often the case, when things are going good, the quarterback receives too much credit. When a losing streak begins to fester, most of the blame is aimed directly at the team’s signal-caller.
Newton recognizes this fact — and even accepts it to a degree — but also realizes that it’s a team-wide issue.
“The situation is testing a lot of individuals, including myself,” Newton said, per an ESPN.com report. “It’s not like you look forward to coming in and working and you play like crap. It’s nothing like being able to walk around town or just show your face and people are looking at you like, ‘You’ve got to be better.’
“Hell, I know.”
Asked how he deals with the brutality of a lost season, Newton argues that sunnier days are just ahead.
“You just deal with it,” said Newton, who is suffering through a career-worst quarterback rating (78.9). “You realize rainy days don’t last.”
Newton has battled through numerous injuries this season and never truly has played at 100%. His teammates reportedly view him as an inspirational figure in light of his dedication and hard work despite the nagging injuries and how he has been brutalized behind a leaky offensive line, something the quarterback attempts to downplay.
“I don’t need my back scratched or my back patted on something that I’m supposed to do,” he said. “It’s not like I’m supposed to give up. It’s not like I’m supposed to say, ‘All right, guys. I’ve done got hit in the mouth three times. That’s the maximum you can get hit at the quarterback position in the NFL.”
Newton, despite the prospects of a lost season, insists he’ll continue to battle.
“I’m more intrigued about how I can push the ball over to elevate my team to win football games rather than individual performances,” Newton added. “Whether I’m hurt, whether I’m 100 percent or what have you, through hell or high water it’s to produce in ways that’s going to put this team in the best way to win football games.”