Some may have believed an assumed disconnect between Matt Rhule and Cam Newton, among other factors, helped lead to the separation between the Carolina Panthers and their franchise quarterback back in 2020. But, as it turns out, Newton is everything Rhule wants in a player.
When talking with reporters on Wednesday, the Panthers head coach continued his praise for his new passer—stating he’s what his type of football is all about.
“He’s the things I talk about with our guys—of being tough and being hard-working and competitive and practicing at a high level and taking accountability,” Rhule said. “Those are all the things that, so far, he’s done. He’s kinda like the personification of the brand and the things that I talk about.”
Although they might be to Rhule, at least up close in this particular environment, Newton’s natural leadership abilities are nothing new to the organization and its fans. They may also be seeing a familiar sight if he starts back under center on Sunday, something Rhule knows Cam will be mentally and emotionally ready for.
“Does he bring energy? I just don’t wanna diminish his on-field play, if that makes sense,” Rhule added when asked about the vibes Newton brings. “Yes, he’s walked around the locker room. He’s fun to be around. He’s yellin’, he’s screamin’, he smacked me in the middle of a game one time. He’s fun to be around. But at the end of the day—he’ll be the first to tell you—all that’s for naught if he doesn’t play well, if we don’t play well. He gets that.”
May the fun soon begin . . .