Cam Newton on NFC title game pressure: ‘I don’t get nervous’
Cam Newton insisted that instead of withering under the pressure of playing in an NFC Championship Game he instead aims to not only relish the experiences but to thrive as well in the biggest football game so far in his life.
And the reason he cited was simple: At this stage of his football career, he’s not affected by nerves.
“I don’t get nervous,” Newton said Wednesday, via ESPN. “I’ve been playing football for too long for me to get nervous. I used to dream of being in this type of position.”
It’s difficult to argue with Newton’s assertion. After all, he seems to be at his best when he’s playing the loosest, as evidenced by the joyous, carefree manner he routinely exhibits.
Further, Newton by no means is a playoff neophyte, having played in four games during his Panthers career, winning two of them. He also led the Auburn Tigers to a national championship in 2011 following his Heisman Trophy campaign.
Carson Palmer, while also winning a Heisman Trophy in 2002 during his brilliant college career with the USC Torjans, has won only one playoff game in his far-longer career. And that came last week in a nail-biter, overtime victory over the Green Bay Packers in a game where Palmer hardly looked at his best.
Newton says he will rely on the notion that playing in the NFC Championship Game is a dream come true to help him get properly motivated and prepared for the game.
“This is why you play football games,” he said. “I idolized the quarterbacks that would be in these positions and dream like, ‘Man, I hope, I pray I get an opportunity to do it.'”
Newton envisions a scenario where the Panthers deliver a Super Bowl victory to the team’s fans and believes that given the wildly successful season the team has enjoyed, it’s now up to he and his teammates to close it out.
“People will be talking about the 2015 Panthers for years to come, and shame on us if we don’t capitalize on it,” Newton said.