As a rookie, the young quarterback transformed Carolina's offense almost single-handedly and turned the Panthers into a team nobody wanted to deal with down the stretch. There's not much room for critique, but Newton has called out one aspect of his game from 2011:
"I was very immature," Newton told Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports. "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."
Honestly, this feels a tad forced. Anybody who sat through the horror show of Carolina's offense in 2010 isn't losing sleep over Newton's sometimes-fiery demeanor.
As Cole points out, Newton allowed mistakes to eat at him last season. A little cold-blooded calm wouldn't hurt on that front, but when he called out teammates and pointed to a losing culture in the locker room, Newton was simply exerting his will and clarifying what he expects from those around him.
Newton will mature on and off the field, a scary notion for the NFC South. Asking him to become someone he isn't won't work. Cam is Cam, and that's what we grew to appreciate last season. Some natural growth will go a long way toward making him a complete franchise passer, but asking him to change would be a mistake.