Cam Newton learned on the go as a rookie last season with the Carolina Panthers.
Nobody knew quite what to expect and it’s fair to say Newton, the Heisman Trophy winner from Auburn, exceeded expectations.
But he’s ramping up what he expects from the team this year, and it’s all part of him being his own toughest critic.
“I think it was something that the media just took it and ran with it, but that was just me being a critic of myself,” Newton said during a visit on ESPN 1100 in Las Vegas, according to sportsradiointerviews.com. “And what people fail to realize … if people only knew how I think about myself and what I want from myself, that doesn’t even bother me. And if you’re a competitor, you shouldn’t let things like that bother you.
“But I think the things that I’m expecting for not only myself but this team this year is gonna be through the roof. And it’s up to myself starting to make myself accountable and the players on this team to make it all happen.”
As he reflects on his rookie season, Newton realizes how much room there is for improvement entering Year 2.
“It was some good things last year, but as I’m going back and looking at the film, I’m kind of wishing a lot of throws that I coulda had back,” he said. “A lot of reads that were just unacceptable. And with me knowing that, I think that’s progressive, in my terms, knowing what I did wrong. And I think that’s the right step, but at the same time, as a fan, I’m hoping that people are eager to watch.”
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune