Maturing Cam Newton interested in becoming a captain

Cam Newton is seemingly making all the right moves this offseason.

The Carolina Panthers quarterback has reportedly dropped about 12 pounds this offseason (down to 243) with a goal of being a little more elusive. He has said all the right things about the offense as the club transitions from Rob Chudzinski to Mike Shula at offensive coordinator. Heck, Newton even went back to school at Auburn this offseason to work on wrapping up his degree.

At some point, Newton would to wear the captain’s “C” for the Panthers too. That is what he said, according to Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer. Newton is clearly taking more of a leadership role and while it often takes time to be recognized and designated as a captain, it appears he’s going about things the right way.

“I recognize – and everyone knows around the league – when you’re a team captain that’s not just a patch on the jersey. You’re holding yourself to a higher standard with being accountable,” Newton said, per the report. “I’m going about it each and every day and trying to make that happen.

“Team captain is solely based off of your peers. I’m going about it each and every day, trying to do my part to prove not only to my team, but first myself, that’s a big responsibility on the field and off the field.”

The Panthers have typically had two captains on offense and those roles have been filled by veterans – left tackle Jordan Gross and wide receiver Steve Smith – in recent seasons. Often times, clubs make sure the quarterback is one of the players wearing a C. It might be hard for Newton to win a vote this year, but he’s clearly making progress and keep in mind he played well in the second half of last season. It will be interesting to see how he begins 2013.

Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs

Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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