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Newton: "I Was a Bad Teamate"
Cam Newton had exceptional, record-breaking numbers in his rookie season. Still, he admits there is plenty for him to improve on. First up is becoming a better teammate, Newton said in an interview with Yahoo! Sports.com.
“I was very immature,” Newton said. "I'll be the first one to tell you, the pouting and the moping, I kind of overdid it. I know that. I was a bad teammate. I shut off to some people who gave unbelievable effort. … That's where I have to mature."
The Panthers finished last season with a 6-10 record, including a 4-2 mark in the team’s final six games. And while it was an improvement on the 2-14 mark of 2010, the season was unacceptable for Newton, who was fresh off a 14-0 record in a National Championship year.
But, as pointed out by Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports, Newton’s enthusiasm and hunger to win helped to change the losing culture in Charlotte. However, teammate Steve Smith pointed out that Newton was sometime angry about the wrong things.
"Cam was angry because he thought he could and should make every play," said wide receiver Steve Smith. "He has to realize you can't do it all yourself. It's like when someone drops a touchdown pass at the end of a close game. You can say that play cost the team a chance to win the game, but it didn't cause the team to lose.
“As you get older in this game, you see how everybody has to do their job and how there are so many plays in a game that affect the outcome. As a competitor, you want the ball in your hands at the end to make the play, but you can't do it all in football. You have to give other people a chance to make a play for you, to help you out."
Smith had a better season with Newton under center than he had experienced in recent years. He put up 1,394 receiving yards, the third-highest output of his career. Newton's rookie output definitely had an effect on that resurgence. Newton posted 4,051 passing yards, 706 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.