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Panthers coalescing around QB Newton

About the Author

Dan Parr

dparr@pfwmedia.com
Associate editor

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Posted Dec. 17, 2011 @ 11:10 p.m. ET
By Dan Parr

In a season full of significant adjustments for rookie QB Cam Newton, dealing with losing has been one of the most difficult for him. He doesn't want to get used to it and has said he wants teammates to get to his "level," where losing isn't accepted. That comment could have upset the locker room, but it passed by without a hint of a shake-up earlier this month, which sources say was an indication that teammates understand his intent was not malicious. The Panthers are a young team, but the veterans on the roster are a level-headed bunch. If any veteran Panthers player is prone to emotional reactions, it's WR Steve Smith, and he has been one of Newton's more outspoken defenders, even in the wake of the comments about teammates needing to be at Newton's level. Establishing consistency has been a struggle for the Panthers in most areas this season, but not when it comes to backing Newton.

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