Newton, Norman on same page

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – To quarterback Cam Newton and cornerback Josh Norman, Monday's skirmish was a consequence of relentless training camp competition.

Nothing more.

"We've moved on from it," Norman said. "We understand each other and the competitive fire that's in it."

The rest of the team feels the same way. Team captain Greg Olsen expressed the general sentiment of the locker room.

"You go against the same bodies with the same plays," Olsen said. "It's frustrating. It's hot. You've been out there every single day. You get fatigued. Your emotions run high. That's normal.

"It's getting to be made way bigger of a deal than it really is. In the inner circles of football locker rooms, on-field fights are really not that big of a deal. Granted, we don't really encourage them, but they're going to happen. They're inevitable, and once they happen everyone goes their separate ways, you collect yourself, and it's over."

There is no lingering tension between Newton and Norman. In fact, both players can relate to each other's passionate approach to practice.

"I'm bringing the best out of Josh. Josh is bringing the best out of me," Newton said. "At the end of the day, I'm not going to dwell on this. We are better from it. There are no hard feelings between anyone in the locker room."

Said Norman: "He's a competitor and fiery – just as much as I am a competitor and fiery. Just like your brother or sister – you have a disagreement or an argument, you're at each other's throat and then the next day you talk through it. It wasn't what it was made out to be."

Newton's involvement in this tussle took the dialogue surrounding it to another level. Quarterbacks wear red for a reason. They aren't to be touched on the practice field; they're to be protected. They don't typically seek out contact.

But not all quarterbacks are built like Newton. Not at all quarterbacks play the game like Newton.

"He's one of the biggest guys on the team," Olsen said. "He carries the ball 15 times a game like a running back. I think a little hand-slapping fight in practice with a defensive back – he'll be OK."

Newton doesn't want to be treated any differently because he is a quarterback. He wants to be viewed as another one of the guys pulling his weight to help this team win a championship.

If he has to stick up for himself in practice, he will. That's his view. And he doesn't mind if onlookers see a problem with it.

"I'm not going to let anyone dictate how I play or how I feel," Newton explained. "I'm at a stage where I'm all about getting the respect from my guys, knowing at the end of the day, they know that they have a guy that is going to lead them to victory along with others.

"To them, I'm just another guy. To (the media) I'm a franchise quarterback that can't do a lot. That's cool and I understand the life that I live. But that pressure is what you guys make it. I'm still a human. I'm still a physical person. Above all, I'm a football player. I just play quarterback."

And the quarterback is going to take a game-like approach to practice and battle for every inch to push his team.

"I know that (Cam) is willing to fight for that championship as hard as I want to fight for that championship," Norman said.

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