When offensive coordinator Norv Turner talks about Cam Newton, his face slowly forms into a wry grin.
It's because he gets him. He gets Newton in a way that many can't fully seem to grasp.
Today after practice, Turner was asked about an interview that Newton did with Peter King of NBC Sports.
King asked Newton if he still needed to be Superman. Newton's response was perfect:
"It's not that I'm limited in certain things, there are just other ways to do it. It doesn't mean that I'm not going to try to run people over or run the football or throw the football down the field. None of that matters except for one thing: winning football games."
So...Newton thinks he doesn't have to be Superman? That was the question posed to Turner today.
"Are you believing that? Wait 'til the first game. It's great that he says it, but wait 'til it's third and goal from the four and he takes off and dives over about five guys."
Turner has always had a healthy respect for utilizing all of the unique talents of Newton, especially his ability to create mismatches for a defense with his legs.
However, after Newton's shoulder surgeries over the last three years, it's fair to wonder if the game plan will involve limiting Newton's running.
"Part of his game is the physical nature of the game," Turner said. "Running the ball, making plays in the zone read stuff, the RPOs. We're not going to take that away from him. We'll pick our spots. But he's obviously a very complete player and he understands that he's got a lot of talented guys around him and in these first five days, he's doing a good job of spreading the ball to everyone."
Newton has emphasized that as well. With a running back who has set NFL and franchise records for receptions and a young wide receiver that led the league in average yards after the catch, Newton doesn't have to make every single dynamic play himself. But the threat of him doing it? That's nearly just as important.
Turner knows that as long as Newton is smart and works to spread the ball around, he can still make highlight plays. He can still put on his Superman cape.
View photos from the fifth day of training camp.