Newton Makes His Presence Felt at 7 on 7 Tourney

Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE

Newton wanted it to be clear the event was his and he was going to be there start to finish. He then talks more about being a team captain, a leader and his blueprint for offseason growth.

Newton explains his role at the 7 v 7 Tournament and is not a passive role to say the least:

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton finding the best of both worlds | CharlotteObserver.com
"When I got the chance to lead, I just want to give back, and especially show my face," Newton said Friday afternoon at Hough High. "I want people to know this is my event, and I want people to know that I’m out here from start to end. "If someone gets an interception or throws a touchdown I’m asking for some dap, I’m asking for some five, I’m asking for a chest bump."

The issue of not being voted a team captain seems to be a popular one for Newton and he is not shying away from it. In fact he seems to be taking it in stride and making a positive out of it:

"Of course, as the quarterback of an NFL team I’d love to be captain, but if my peers don’t feel like I’m ready, then I’m not ready," Newton said. "And first off I have to prove to myself and make myself accountable to come out each and every day to show a leader presence. "I know that’s not going to be given, I have to earn it."

The most heartening thing for me in this piece is Newton's realization of two key words about leadership:

"Body language is everything. I could be having a conversation with you guys and have my face down and not make eye contact and everything’s OK. But the way it looks may come off a different way. And I understand that. That’s one thing I’ve tried to focus on, but at the same time it’s a work in progress."

So though he resisted the notion at first Newton now acknowledges that the towel on the head when losing is poor body language. Now when the Panthers are winning he can wrap himself in a logo and put 20 towels on his head and it wouldn't matter. I doubt he will do that of course. Instead I think we will see more of Newton's dap, five and chest bumps instead. He's learning.

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