Every star quarterback needs a few storylines. There will be positive ones and negative ones. During Cam Newton's ridiculous rookie season with the Carolina Panthers, it was hard to find much to pick on.
So we talked about how he didn't handle losing well. Even teammates talked about his body language.
"That's a good problem to have," Panthers coach Ron Rivera told Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports. "If that's the worst thing that we have to worry about -- our quarterback cares too much -- we've got it pretty good."
Precisely. We don't know where Newton's career goes from here. His rookie season was as promising as any we've seen from a quarterback. The bar is set high.
"If I were to tell a person my goals, it might blow their mind -- so I'd rather keep it to myself," Newton told Silver. "But my expectations for myself will never be exceeded by someone else."
That type of attitude is appreciated by his teammates. Newton's work ethic, not his skills, helped quickly win over his teammates.
"Although the media kind of crucified him for it and people outside saw it as a negative, I think guys really responded to it in a positive way because to us it sent a signal that this guy really cares about winning football games -- not for himself, for this football team," center Ryan Kalil said. "It means something to him. And I think that kind of attitude is something that's inspiring, it's contagious."
The very best the NFL has to offer are often the worst losers. New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick can barely speak after a loss, the life drained from him. Tom Brady crucifies his teammates and himself when things aren't going well. San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh gets prickly and combative when challenged. This is what you want as a fan.
Newton expects greatness in Carolina. So do we.Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.