Newton his own worst critic despite record rookie year

Everyone seemed to believe that Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton had an outstanding rookie NFL campaign – except Cam Newton himself.

The NFL Rookie of the Year recently told Yahoo! Sports that he was a bad teammate during his 2011 season, mainly because he had a difficult time adjusting to a 6-10 season.

“I was very immature,” Newton told Yahoo! of his reaction after losses. “I’ll be the first one to tell you, the pouting and the moping, I kind of overdid it. I know that. I was a bad teammate. I shut off to some people who gave unbelievable effort. … That’s where I have to mature.”

Newton helped turn around the Panthers’ from the league’s worst in 2010 to the fifth-highest scoring team in 2011. But despite becoming the first player in NFL history to pass for 4,000 yards and run for 500, Newton said he would be hard on himself after an interception or bad play.

“Half the time it wasn’t me shutting people down because I was thinking they weren’t giving the same effort as me, it was me knowing there were things I could do that could have changed the outcome of the game,” Newton told Yahoo!.

“I put a lot on me to be able to respond. When things are going wrong, I wanted to have the ball in my hand, just like any warrior, any competitor who has played this game. When you don’t get the results you want, I didn’t go about it the right way.”

Newton and his Panther teammates will be working on those issues as they enter offseason training sessions.

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