Cam Newton was the best player in the NFL five years ago. He was the league MVP in 2015 but came across as a diva and a poor sport. When his Carolina Panthers lost to the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl, Newton sulked and then blew off the media during the postgame press conference. After being humbled by injuries and a release by the Panthers, Newton has a new life with the New England Patriots. He recently addressed how seriously he’s taking football in 2020.
Cam Newton was the NFL’s best in 2015
The Carolina Panthers had a dream season in 2015. Led by quarterback Cam Newton, the Panthers cruised during the regular season, enjoying a 15-1 mark and the top seed in the NFC playoff picture. Newton was in his fifth year in the NFL and had already been to two Pro Bowls.
As good as Newton has been previously, his 2015 campaign was the best. Newton and the Panthers’ offense was unstoppable, leading the league in points scored with 500. For the regular season, Newton threw a career-high 35 touchdown passes and racked up 3,837 passing yards. He also rushed for 636 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Newton and the Panthers earned the bye and then won their two postseason games. They defeated the Seattle Seahawks and then the Arizona Cardinals, setting up a meeting with the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50. The Broncos ended the Panthers’ dream season with a 24-10 victory.
Newton joins the Patriots in 2020
After 20 seasons with the New England Patriots, Tom Brady left town. Brady and the Patriots couldn’t agree to contract terms and Brady left New England to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Cam Newton, who had missed all but two games of the 2019 season with the Panthers due to injury, was released by the team.
The Patriots signed Newton right before the 2020 season. It was a tough position for Newton, coming off an injury that limited him to two games and then having to replace a legend in Brady. Newton was up to the task and was strong early, leading the team to a season-opening win over the Miami Dolphins before throwing for 397 yards and accounting for three scores in a loss at the Seattle Seahawks.
After a 2-1 start, Newton tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) and missed the game against the Kansas City Chiefs. After losing to the Chiefs, Newton returned, but the Patriots struggled and lost their next three games. They bounced back to win four out of five, but Newton’s consistency has been a problem. He has just five touchdown passes on the season but has rushed for 11 scores.
Newton addresses his practice habits
While it’s been a disappointing season for the New England Patriots, who sit at 6-7, it hasn’t been for a lack of effort, especially with Cam Newton. While the results haven’t been there, Newton has been a leader in the locker room. He recently addressed his work habits in his first year with the Patriots.
“My practice habits this year have been more intensified than any other time in my life,” Newton said on WEEI on Monday. “I’ve been playing this game since I was six or seven years old and I’ve never cared about practice as much as I’ve since I’ve been in New England. You can’t say just because you don’t practice doesn’t mean you don’t play good because that hasn’t been the case.
“My practice habits have increased from watching film to caring about each and every rep to working out and taking all the things that you have to do on and off the field, from nutrition to rehab. For our record to be 6-7 right now, it’s extremely frustrating. with three games left, what am I going to stop my preparation?” Say what you want about Newton, but he’s taken on the leadership role with the Patriots.