Cam Newton walked out on yet another postgame press conference, this after losing a 41-38 shootout to the Saints in the Superdome.
We saw this from Newton following Carolina’s Super Bowl 50 loss to the Broncos. We thought he had learned his lesson, but it appears he hasn’t.
“I’ve had teammates like this in the past,” NFL analyst Ephraim Salaam said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “Some guys don’t know how to lose. Some guys don’t know how to do it. Very few were quarterbacks, but let’s be honest: Cam Newton is not your average, typical, cookie-cutter quarterback. First of all, he’s my size and he’s a different generation. It’s just a different mentality. It doesn’t make it right, and the fact that they were the team that they were last year – I was saying this after the Super Bowl, ‘Wow, these kids may never realize they may never get back to this stage.’ They kind of had like an air of, ‘Okay, we’ll get it back next year. We’re going to make the league pay.’ I was thinking to myself, ‘They don’t realize that they may never ever get another chance to play in the Super Bowl.’ It happened to me my rookie year. We went to the Super Bowl, and Denver demolished us when I was with the Atlanta Falcons. I never saw another Super Bowl ever again. So now that realization is setting in that, ‘Oh, my God, this isn’t what we thought we were going to have this year.’ Cam was already uneasy with the tough questions after a loss. Now it’s magnified because I don’t even know who this team is. There’s no excuse for him not being almost presidential. That’s how we look at our quarterbacks. We want them to be sort of presidential because they’re the face of our franchise. They need to answer the tough questions. They need to be politically correct. And we’re just not getting that from him.”
Aaron Rodgers, meanwhile, has to answer for one of his worst performances as a Green Bay Packer. Rodgers went 31-of-42 for 294 yards, one touchdown, one interception and two fumbles (one lost) in a 30-16 loss to the Cowboys on Sunday.
What is going on in Green Bay?
“Well, you got to think back. This isn’t the first year it’s been like this,” Salaam said. “For the last couple years, it’s always been something. When Jordy Nelson went down, it was, ‘Okay, well, he doesn’t have his statement guy to throw to. They don’t have enough pieces around him.’ But even though Aaron Rodgers is still one of the elite quarterbacks in this league, there’s just something not quite right. They’ve had offensive line problems, but usually Aaron Rodgers is the type of quarterback that can escape from pressure and still make big plays down the field. We’re not seeing that from him right now and it’s a bit perplexing. He’s still in his prime, he still has weapons to throw to, he still has command of the offense. But he’s just not producing.
“I think it has a lot to do with the aging defense,” Salaam continued. “A defense that once put a lot of pressure on people and allowed the Packers to play from ahead. Now they’re not really doing that anymore. Now you find yourself having to have ball control, having to eat up clock, having to score points every time you’re in the red zone, and it just seems to be tougher than in years past. An inconsistent running game and an inconsistent offensive line has really put a lot of pressure on Aaron Rodgers and he’s just not ringing the bell.”
Sticking in the NFC, Odell Beckham Jr. went off for eight catches for 222 yards and two touchdowns in a 27-23 win over the Ravens on Sunday. After scoring what proved to be the game-winning touchdown, however, he removed his helmet to celebrate, which resulted in a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
Beckham is still only 23, but when is he going to grow up?
“If they don’t get someone in that locker room to help him, it could drag on for a couple of years,” Salaam said. “The thing with having early success as a young player is you don’t feel like you need to correct (anything because) you have all the talent and you’re putting up good numbers. So that drags on for a few more years.”