"He hasn't been throwing for 400 yards, but he's actually getting better in the pocket," Panthers offensive tackle Jordan Gross said Sunday. "And he's getting to be a better leader off the field. I think he is understanding how he affects the team. His circle of influence is big as a quarterback."
That circle continues to grow now stretching to the opposing sideline:
"When I wasn't in, I was watching him, I'm not going to lie," Johnson said. "You like watching certain guys that are talented."
I also went over to Bucs Nation to see what their members had say during the open thread to see if his influence had spread there as well:
More from the same guy, after the jump...
Okay maybe not the most glowing compliments but its a big move for at least one Buc fan! Hey, you can't argue that Newton is not influencing the record books!
So Newton's cicle of influence is growing to include opposing players, fans and even bloggers. Cam has such an influence on the field that his ability to protect the ball seems to have a direct impact on the outcome of the game. When Cam is involved in a turnover the Panthers are 0-8, when he doesn't they are 4-0. So it's simple, Cam just don't turn the ball over.
Is that a reasonable expectation? Hardly. If he does is a loss eminent? Hardly again. Sometime soon Cam will turnover the ball over again and its then time for him to look past the error, rebound and take the Panthers to victory. When that happens we will see his circle of influence truly mean something on the field. Looks like he has the off the field thing covered.
BTW, if you were wondering what was behind DT Brian Price hitting the locker room early it was not his choice, he was sent home and I mean home, not just the locker room:
On this matter, I agree with Brian Price's agent. Not because I think sending a message isn't right, but because this is terribly inconsistent of Raheem Morris. Why did he make that move now, and not when Aqib Talib cost the Bucs a goalline stop in London, or when Kellen Winslow cost the Bucs a sure field goal in Tennessee? Penalties have been an issue all season long, and the Bucs haven't sent a player home before despite multiple opportunities to do so.
Do I detect a mutiny on the Bounty? I have to admit it was a questionable move based on past history as pointed out.