SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Vowing that he couldn’t “let last year happen again,” Cam Newton spoke for the first at Panthers training camp Thursday.
Newton held court for about 30 minutes, discussing a number of topics, including the humility he gained through last year’s struggles, as well his renewed sense of purpose following the birth of his daughter.
Newton admitted he got a little nervous throwing for the first time during Wednesday night’s practice but said he has to be the best player he can be, not just for himself, but for the Panthers organization.
Contemplative Cam pic.twitter.com/fjhyA2g6y1— Jeremy Igo (@CarolinaHuddle) July 27, 2017
“I took last year personally,” Newton said. “Something had to change, starting with myself. I know for my career, I can’t let that happen again. Ever.
“Football is a 12-month sport. I did it differently this year. From February on, I figured I’d just put the pressure on.”
Cam: "I wanted people to see this isn't just any other year"— Kelsey Riggs (@KelseyRiggsWCNC) July 27, 2017
Among the changes Newton made during the offseason was trimming down. Newton posted a photo to Instagram earlier this week showing off his new physique. When asked if fans can expect him to run less after a slew of injuries in recent years, Newton responded in classic Cam fashion.
“That’s my edge,” Newton said. “You don’t expect a lion to roar?”
He also became a father for the second time in February, as he and girlfriend Kia Proctor welcomed daughter Sovereign Dior Cambella Newton.
“They [Newton’s children] give me a lot more purpose,” Newton said. “You know love, but when you start having kids, that’s real love.”
The 2015 MVP addressed why he chose to play with a partially torn rotator cuff last season. The answer was simple: to deliver a message.
“That was my playoff game,” said Newton. “But I couldn’t look at (my teammates) the same. I wanted them to know, if anybody is going to leave it all on the field, it’s going to be me.
Cam on being picked last now: I don't understand what they all see. We're all undefeated right now— Kelsey Riggs (@KelseyRiggsWCNC) July 27, 2017
With the addition of speedy running back Christian McCaffrey and wide receiver Curtis Samuel this offseason, Newton said the Panthers’ offense has one goal.
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“We need to score points,” Newton declared. “A lot of points. Simple.”