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Panthers aren't going to take a knee


Panthers quarterback Cam Newton admits that the time for talk has passed, in part because everything that can be said has been said.

He also knows that the Panthers changed some things in preparation for last Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears in hopes of changing the team's foundering fortunes.

So, a reporter asked Newton, since the Panthers' new approach still didn't produce a victory, is there a point where he would start to think that there's no winning formula for this team?

"No one is giving up. I'm not giving up, far from it," Newton said. "We can win football games. It just takes a little bit more effort, takes people doing whatever they have to do."

No, the Panthers didn't knock off the Bears after a week of upheaval around Bank of America Stadium, but they most certainly knocked on the door. Who thought the Panthers would lead one of the three NFL teams with no more than one loss by 12 points in the fourth quarter, on the road?

If the Panthers can come that close against a team with those credentials, of course this team is capable of winning games going forward.

"We just keep falling short, but hopefully we can turn this thing around soon, this Sunday," Panthers cornerback Captain Munnerlyn said. "We're just trying to get better each and every week. We know outsiders aren't giving us a chance, but we're just going to keep working. We're not going to give up."

There's no such thing as an easy schedule in the NFL, whether you're 1-6 like the Panthers or 6-1 like the Bears. Carolina can derive some hope, however, from the fact that seven of its remaining nine opponents currently sport under-.500 records.

Of course, where the Panthers currently find themselves, one of their toughest opponents is themselves.

"It just comes down to each and every person being accountable for their responsibilities," Newton said. "It comes down to each person challenging themselves. Everything has been said that is going to be said from coaches, players, leaders. Nothing else needs to be said. If it's been thought about on the outside, it's been said in here, trust me."

There's obviously a different vibe around an NFL locker room following a win than a loss, but resiliency is the mark of a professional. After several losses in a row, however, the feeling can become downright numbing.

But Sunday against the Washington Redskins, the Panthers believe changes that have been successful to a point can result in a successful change to the point totals on the scoreboard.

"Nobody wants to be around losing. It's kind of like a disease," Newton said.    "We just need to get back on the right track, just bring the swagger, bring the confidence, bring the fun back to football."

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