Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Mike Shula believes Cam Newton is ready to take a big step forward entering his third year, providing he can manage the ups and downs that come with the job.
Newton has shown that he has the physical skills to be an elite quarterback.
Now, Shula wants to see him take a step forward emotionally, specifically when it comes to handling adversity.
“Probably the biggest thing for him is maintaining that balance,” Shula said. “Because everything around you during the football season is going to be up and down.”
At times TV cameras have caught Newton moping on the sidelines and even teammate Steve Smith has called him out in the past for sulking on the sidelines.
Newton wasn’t at the team’s rookie minicamp this weekend, but has said in the past he needs to control his emotions and become a better team leader because he knows his teammates are watching him.
“The more you can continue to stay on an even plane and lead the group of guys around you, the more effective you are going to be as a quarterback,” said Shula, who added that Newton has been one of his favorite players ever to coach.
Managing Newton’s emotions is just one of Shula’s responsibilities as he prepares for his first season as offensive coordinator with the Panthers.
He has to find a way to create more balance on offense and a way to keep a crowded backfield happy.
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