If you don’t like Cam Newton, if you want him to tone down his celebrations, if you want him to appear more humble, well, good luck. Because it’s not going to happen.
Newton may rub some fans the wrong way. He may rub some players the wrong way. But he has the ultimate respect of his teammates – and that’s all he cares about.
“First and foremost, I love Cam. Love Cam,” Panthers safety Roman Harper said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “But you the thing is, when people don’t know who you are, they just say whatever they feel or they think what you are – the same way Marshawn Lynch struggled with a lot of that stuff. He didn’t never talk to anybody, so you didn’t know. And you know what? Before I got here, I believed all that too. I thought he was an arrogant guy, I thought he was way over the top and all this and all that. There’s more than one way to skin a cat. It’s because no other quarterback has fun like he does. Why does he have to just conform to this rule of, ‘Hey, this quarterback has to do (this or that)?’ Don’t do that. I think he’s more comfortable with being himself and who he is and he sleeps better at night knowing that he’s himself.”
Harper, 33, played for the Saints from 2006 to 2013, meaning he played against Newton for three seasons before signing with Carolina in March 2014. Harper didn’t like Newton before they became teammates, but once they did, he actually got to know Newton and see him on an everyday basis.
“At the end of the day, when I wasn’t here, I thought it was this, that and the other,” Harper said. “Then you get here. The guy, he’s super humble, he talks to everybody, he has a great time in this locker room. He’s just a fun, happy-go-lucky guy. He doesn’t apologize for that. The dude is never serious. Well, he is serious, but not really. He loves having fun all of the time. He’s always joking around, having fun, and our team kind of personifies that whole type of mentality. Cam kind of leads us. We have fun. We’re not going to apologize for dabbing or taking pictures on the sidelines. It’s just who we’ve been all year long, so why are we going to change now when it’s clearly worked for us?”
Carolina started the year 14-0, finished 15-1, and have led 31-0 and 34-7 in each of their first two playoff games. In fact, the Panthers have led by 27+ points in each of their last three games and are nearly a touchdown favorite to beat the Denver Broncos in Super 50.
Harper, who won a Super Bowl with the Saints, knows what it takes to get the job done and believes Carolina has what it takes to win the first Super Bowl championship in franchise history.
“Let’s continue to be who we are,” Harper said, “and if we win the whole thing, nobody can say anything – because we did it our way and it was our time.”