Dealing with early success: Keeping the Panthers grounded

The spotlight is beginning to shine on the Panthers. Will they get blinded by the bright lights? (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Without a doubt we're in uncharted waters now. A certain amount of the spotlight was to be expected when you have the #1 overall pick and select a polarizing figure like Cam Newton, but I'll admit I had no clue it was going to be this dramatic. In the span of just a few days the Panthers went from laughing stock of the NFL, a team that had almost no talent, to be doted on as geniuses for having he foresight to select Newton.

I'll be the first to admit I'm excited about Newton, but also the amount of attention he's getting is approaching fever pitch. Sure, it's due diligence for ESPN and neighboring networks, but it's easy for this attention to go to a team's head. This was exacerbated by the win over the Giants, and further heightened by the Greg Olsen trade which was called last night a 'The best off-season acquisition by the NFL Live crew.

More after the jump

The fear a lot of people shared when we discussed the prospects of the Panthers getting HBO's 'Hard Knocks' is that it would bring too much attention to the team too early when the coaching staff needed to be concentrating on building the team. Now the risk is that that same attention will be brought on the team with early success, and better than expected performances. 

Thus far, Rivera and co have done an excellent job keeping all the players humble and ready to keep working, I hope they're still able to. Not that I think we have a great deal of egos on this team, but today I was pondering what the result of all this early attention will be? There's still a great deal of work to be done, even if some members of the media are willing to anoint Newton as the next 'great one'. 

Do you have any concerns that all this early media attention could result in a negative result? 

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