Cam Newton is not getting coached up by a shrink.
That is what the Carolina Panthers quarterback said Monday after reports over the weekend from ESPN’s Chris Mortensen that he is working with a “mind coach.”
There are massive expectations for the Panthers this season, largely based on the fantastic rookie season the quarterback had. Three games in, there is no question Newton has been disappointing, and things came to a head when Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith lit into Newton last Thursday for sulking on the bench late in the beating from the New York Giants on NFL Network.
“I have not hired a sports psychologist,” Newton said, according to the Charlotte Observer. “I have no idea where that came from. I have a strong support system in my teammates, coaches and family. My focus is on improving this week and getting ready to play Atlanta.”
Coach Ron Rivera said he would have no issue if Newton was seeking counsel from a sports psychologist.
“I’ve got a guy on speed dial that is a sports psychologist that I’ve talked with since 1999, and he’s been outstanding with me,” Rivera said. “So I see no issues with it. I think it’s great that he’s trying to be proactive and help himself, if that’s what he’s doing.”
Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs
Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune