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Strickly Panthers: Newton's sweet day


CHARLOTTE - When Cam Newton is on the football field, he's like a kid in a candy store, but when he comes off the field after a loss, he's like a kid coming off a sugar high.

Sunday, Newton got a chance to showcase a side of his personality that Panthers fans haven't seen nearly enough so far – the side that comes out along with the sweet taste of victory.

!Newton was all smiles following Carolina's 33-20 victory over the Washington Redskins at Bank of America Stadium, happily breaking down several of his more notable plays – both the bitter and the sweet.

On his way to 59 rushing yards, a franchise record for a quarterback, Newton took a couple of vicious hits from the Redskins' relentless defense. Newton was able to have fun with both of them after the victory – and had fun with one of them even as it was happening.

Late in the first half, Newton got blown up on a sack from his blindside by linebacker Brian Orakpo.

That most definitely was not the fun one.

"I heard the whole crowd go, 'Ooooh,'" Newton said. "I remembered my parents always saying, 'Son, just get up.' So, I got up real slow and was like, 'I'm alright.' It was a scary hit."

On the opening drive of the game, however, Newton actually got a kick out of his attempt to score on third-and-goal from the 8, when he sprinted toward the right corner of the end zone, Around the 4, he went airborne in pursuit of the pilon, only to be lit up and spun around in midair by linebacker London Fletcher, who knocked him out of bounds at the 2.

"Actually, that's what you dream about as a football player," Newton said. "When you're running and you see the goal line and you see a guy in front of you, you're like, 'What do I do? Do I run him over or do I jump over him?' And then you jump, and it's like, 'Wheeee!' It's just fun."


Earlier on that drive, on the third snap of the game, Newton broke another team record while figuratively breaking some ankles, a crazy scramble that left multiple defenders in his wake. Yet in his postgame description of the crowd-pleasing 25-yard run – the longest rush for a quarterback in team history – Newton took off the kid gloves and went to school.

"The defensive end just kept getting lax, trying to pinch the inside too hard," Newton said. "The defensive end just pinched extremely hard, and I had an opportunity to go around him."

Finally, Newton broke down his third team record of the day, a 16-yard touchdown run early in the second half that jumpstarted the Panthers' second-half onslaught. The run was the longest by a quarterback for a touchdown in Panthers history.

Newton, however, wasn't asked about the record or the significant of the touchdown to the outcome of the game.

The kid was asked about a kid.

"Each and every week, my quarterback coach - Coach (Mike) Shula - talks about learning how to celebrate," Newton said. "He says, 'When you celebrate, it's not a celebration unless you give back. You can do all of your rift-raft, but at the end, give that football to a little kid.'

"After I did whatever I did, I heard someone in my headset saying, 'Give it to a little kid! Give it to a little kid!' I looked around and found a kid just gleaming from ear to ear, so I gave it to him.

"That's the fun part, celebrating."

It is pretty sweet.

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