Plenty of quarterbacks hit roadblocks during their sophomore seasons in the NFL. Cam Newton, in that sense, is no different.
His record-setting rookie outing generated towering expectations for Year 2, but Year 2 has been filled with problems for the Carolina Panthers quarterback.
"I've learned so much about myself," Newton said Wednesday, via Grant Paulsen of WJFK-FM. "Has it been humbling? Yes."
Newton is a developing player on a bad team, and it's unfair to dismiss his physical gifts. When he's good, he makes the game look simple. His off-the-field performance is more complex.
"Ace Boogie" has been browbeaten by pundits for his uneven, sometimes bizarre demeanor during encounters with the media this season. Everything from calling a female reporter "sweetheart" to blankly staring at the floor as he unravels monotone responses to Carolina's latest defeat.
Playing performance aside, it's this extracurricular aspect of Newton's game that agitates the masses. It's the part he admits he's still working on.
"I'm just going to keep living and keep playing this game," he said. "Sooner or later, things will work out."