The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

October 10, 2012

Cam Newton says it's back to basics after rough start

(Continued)

What does bother Cecil Newton a little is how his son has handled losing when talking to the media in postgame press conferences.

That's something he said he's already talked to him about during his semi-regular Tuesday conversions about football and life.

"You have to table it," Cecil Newton said. "It's OK to be dejected, but not at the expense that the media can't do their job. And I think he did a better job of doing that after the Seattle game."

Of course, all of that talk would be for naught in the Panthers were winning.

For the second straight year the Panthers are 1-4 under Newton, although this year certainly feels more discouraging given the lofty expectations.

Since 1978, 156 teams have begun the season with that record with only seven — less than five percent — reaching the playoffs, according to STATS LLC. And things just got tougher on Wednesday when three-time Pro Bowl center Ryan Kalil was lost for the season due to a foot injury.

Newton's stats through five games aren't all that different than his totals through five games last year.

But numbers are one thing.

The eyeball test is quite another.

And right now Newton doesn't look particularly comfortable or sharp running the offense. He one-hopped a pass to wide open tight end Ben Hartsock in the end zone on a key fourth down play in Sunday's 16-12 loss to the Seahawks.

"I pride myself on being very prepared and being able to do things when my number is called," Newton said.

And while the quarterback hasn't had much success this season, Cecil Newton said his son "is too big of a competitor not to figure it out" and there's no doubt he'll be back making plays soon.

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