Steve Smith Calls Out Cam Newton
By: Kim O'Hara | Posted: September 21, 2012
Another week, another quarterback’s leadership being questioned. This time it’s Cam Newton, whose three interceptions and overall ineffective performance against the New York Giants resulted in a 29-point loss. Newton’s play itself isn’t necessarily cause for concern, as the Giants defense finally played up to preseason expectations, with both its defensive front and secondary executing at a high level. When New York’s defense is clicking, it causes fits for even upper echelon, elite quarterbacks (just ask Tom Brady).
It’s his attitude on the bench, on the other hand, that’s caused tongues to wag. As the game increased in ugliness, Newton could be seen on the bench between offensive possessions, towel over his head, shutting out the on-field action and teammates alike, especially once backup Derek Anderson took the field. Veteran Steve Smith took it upon himself to speak with the second year former number one pick. He used some “unchoice words” with Newton, imploring him to use his time on the bench to exercise some “mental reps”.
Veterans, and especially captains like Smith, should take opportunities like this to educate young players. Newton has the tools to become the face of a franchise on the cusp of finding unparalleled success. It’s just important he doesn’t get in is own way.
Kim O'Hara is the Associate Editor of TheFootballGirl.com. She is an avid fan of sports in general, but the NFL in particular. She has also been a contributor to ESPN the Magazine. Follow her on Twitter: @arahomik
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