Cam Newton loves to dance, and he especially loves to dance after scoring touchdowns. It is what it is. Some people – opponents, fans, members of the media – could do without Newton’s celebrations, but if you want him to stop, well, don’t hold your breath.
“I know that Cam’s a big kid and you’ve probably heard that a lot as well in the media,” former Carolina captain and current Panthers sideline reporter Jordan Gross said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “But it’s true. He loves to have fun, he loves to dance and goof off. He does it in the locker room, he does it on the practice field and as you can see, he does it on the football field. He’s going to celebrate when he scores touchdowns. I think that’s something that the NFL encourages by allowing that in their rule book, and Cam’s a competitive person. There were big stories about Cam and Josh Norman getting into a fight in training camp. Cam’s obviously not going to back down from confrontation. Would I dance as much as he does? Well, I never even scored a touchdown. But if I was Cam I definitely would tone it down a little bit, but he’s happy to be 9-0 and is enjoying every minute of it.”
Newton scored on a 2-yard touchdown run to give Carolina a 27-10 lead over Tennessee this past Sunday. Then he danced. Then he was criticized.
Newton rushed nine times for 23 yards on the day and has rushed 82 times for 366 yards and six touchdowns on the season. He is on pace for 146 rushes, which would shatter his career high of 126 that he set as a rookie in 2011.
Are the Panthers worried about that?
“I don’t know that there’s a concern that he’s running more than they want him to,” Gross said. “I think that everybody that is in the organization knows who Cam Newton is and he’s a quarterback that is pretty darn dangerous throwing the ball but also running the ball. If you try to take that element away from him, I think it really handicaps the offense in general. I know that some people do cringe when he lowers his shoulder instead of slides and hopefully he can learn to do more of that. But the maturity I’ve seen in him, what he can do with the ball now – he’s not afraid to just throw a check-down. He’s maybe not afraid to throw the ball away or scramble for a few yards and get out of bounds. Earlier in his career, he was always trying to make that highlight tape. He wasn’t satisfied with (moving) on to the next play. That’s what got him in trouble a little bit more early on, and that’s what’s helped this team win now. He’s a lot more clean with the ball and he’s minimizing his turnovers.”
Carolina will go for 10-0 this Sunday against Washington (4-5). Kickoff is at 1 p.m. ET.