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Jared Allen: Cam Newton’s celebrations remind him of Brett Favre

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Jared Allen pleaded for people to stop overreacting to Cam Newton’s touchdown celebrations, comparing the Carolina Panthers quarterback’s on-field exuberance to the excitability and passion frequently displayed by Brett Favre during his career.

The Panthers defensive lineman was making an appearance on CBS Sports’ “Roughing the Passer Podcast” when he discussed the controversy surrounding Newton while praising the quarterback’s “unique” leadership qualities, something that has made the Panthers the talk of the NFL with a 9-0 record.

“Leave him alone!” Allen said of Newton’s celebratory dancing, via Eye on Football. “Leave him alone, guys. It’s hilarious.”

Allen then compared Newton’s sometimes over-the-top exuberance to the one and only Brett Favre. The defensive end got a first-hand look at how that kind of emotion can inspire teammates when he played with Favre during the quarterback’s final two NFL seasons with the Minnesota Vikings.

“People expect franchise quarterbacks to act a certain way. But he leads in his own unique way,” he said. “But it’s so authentic that you’ve got to love it, you’ve got to let it go. Speaking of guys like Brett [Favre], people forget Brett was a fiery dude. Brett used to get into it all the time. I think it’s great. You don’t want to let a guy celebrate in your end zone, don’t let him score.”

What Allen says about Favre is correct — and like what Newton is going through now — the passion he frequently displayed on the field often made the future Hall of Fame quarterback a target of criticism.

Allen’s comments represent a doubling-down in defense of Newton. Earlier this week, he humorously backed his teammate’s antics during last week’s game against the Titans — a source of much controversy and consternation — by saying, “This isn’t Footloose. You are allowed to dance.”