Let's face facts; the Carolina Panthers are currently a sinking ship.
At 1-5, Carolina is one of the biggest disappointments of the season. After a rookie year that set the league on fire in 2012, Panthers QB Cam Newton was supposed to elevate his team to the next level. Instead, the team has seemed to lose its identity and the once great Newton is suffering a severe case of the Sophomore slumps.
There is a foreboding sense of somberness that clings to Newton like a cheap suit worn in the rain. This discontent, or sulkiness if you will, manifested itself this past Sunday during the Panthers post-game interviews as a demoralized Newton answered a female reporter's question about how to score more points. His answer left many reeling.
“I’m going to leave this room and I’m going to bring in a suggestion box and I want your suggestions to be in that suggestion box because I sure don’t know,” Newton said. “I really don’t. I wish I could tell you. But the only thing I control, sweetheart, is myself. Offensively, I am the leader of this bunch and we haven’t been getting the job done.”
While the answer was somewhat honest, both the tone of it, along with the 'sweetheart', left a bitter taste in some former coache's mouths. Two of these coaches –now analysts — took to the airwaves to voice their opinions on the matter.
On The Coaches Show on NFL Network, former coach Dennis Green was asked how he would handle Cam's demeanor.
"You've got to talk to him. First off say, 'Is that really the way you want to project yourself? Is that the kind of confidence you want the team to have in you?' I mean, that's pretty bad."
The biggest opinion on the matter, however, came from a man who has had his fair share of run-ins with reporters, Brian Billick. While Green was somewhat sympathetic, Billick didn't hold back in his assessment of the situation.
"This bothered me," said Billick. "I think Cam Newton, for me, came across like a petulant child, pouting that things weren't going his way.
"The problem I'm having with it is, Cam Newton — right now — I think he's not only pouting because they're 1-5, I think he also realizes he's not the prettiest girl in the room anymore. RGIII's kinda taken some of the attention away from him — I don't think he likes that."
Billick again took on the subject on Monday's Total Access show, where he had the following to add.
"There needs to be a suggestion put in that box that says, 'Listen more, talk less.' Billick said.
"He's trying to talk his way through this and that's not what you need to do. The problem I have is in Carolina. I'm not sure where there is that veteran leadership."
Steve Smith aside, Carolina is a sea of young faces. Billick may have a point about a lack of veteran presence. Whatever the case, hopefully Newton's talent rises above his emotional issues. The man clearly has all the athletic gifts to be a first-rate signal caller in today's league.
James LeBeau is a sports contributor for CraveOnline Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JleBeau76 or subscribe on Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.
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