Speaking to the media the first time since January, Carolina's quarterback on Saturday talked Turner, Tepper and "trust."
On Newton's newborn child: Well, it's just refreshing. It's refreshing just to have another seed, and it's a blessing at that, you know. Children is different things to different people. Every single time I look at all my kids, it just gives me more purpose. From Shakira to Sovereign to Chosen. And the newest one, and the newest one, yeah I'm not going to give you the name. I just got to get it clear through the mom. I'm extremely happy. I'm at a point in my life where it's refreshing. I don't have to go into the season anticipating a phone call. I'm super happy that it happened before the season.
On Newton's reaction to Daryl Williams' injury: It's no different than anybody else. You know, just shocked. Extremely optimistic right now knowing that, I hope we are overreacting. You never want to see a player like that go down. Especially, one who has done such an exceptional job with battling to get the credit that he has deserved, and for him to get to get the notoriety this past year, and coming into his own this year. You hate to see certain things like that. But, I believe that everything will be alright. I'm hoping everything will be alright. You know, we'll see what happens.
On getting to practice with pads on: Right. I think it's good for everybody. Just a little rusty with just the transformation from having pads and all offseason, not throwing with pads. So, that was kind of the difference. But, as an offense, as a whole, I was extremely pleased with how we responded to not only the heat but the pads and just the tempo throughout the whole day.
On Turner's new offense: It's good. It's good. It's okay. He's Boogie-approved.
On the adjustment with the new offense: Well, the thing is different, you know, going from Shula to, obviously, coach Norv. His son does a great job as well. I think the whole staff just in general. And I think the onus has been on him more so than us to take what we've already done good and to extend on it rather than just ripping the sheets of paper up. And alright, "this is my way or the highway" type of mentality. He's been extremely easy to work with under that premise. And knowing that, okay. You guys have done it this way or you guys have called it this. We'll just keep calling it that rather than, you just have…I didn't know what to expect. I know he has a high football IQ and, you do as much research as possible. Ask as many people about him as possible. But, after that, for you to find out that everything had been as advertised, it's just a good thing to be in.
On Newton's break from social media and return: Number one, it's for motivation. It's motivational content, that's all it is. And two, it just keeps me on my P's and Q's. The responses that I get via comments, via DMs, direct messages, has been almost life-changing to be honest with you. You know when you get people that you may not ever get to see or talk to this is their only chance to communicate with you or to express their interest or tell you certain things that they're going through, when you read and hear those stories it's gratifying knowing that, you know, me just showing a person that I'm up at the times that I'm up, that I'm working as much as I'm working, you know, it's inspiring them. And to be honest with you, nothing about me has changed, only thing that's different is that I'm just documenting it. Last year was when I started implementing doing extra cardio before actual practice and nobody too much knew about it, but now that I'm documenting the things that I'm doing everybody's like, you know 'Oh, Cam's on his stuff.' No, I've been doing it I just haven't been showing people. But now that I see that a lot of people are vicariously living through me and they're looking forward to certain things being said, being done and it keeps me in line and in check and that's helpful for me too.
On similarities to Rob Chudzinski's offense and Turner's: That I don't know, I mean I can't tell you, we're just in the second day of practice. I just know that the transition as far as philosophies has almost been as easy as anyone could expect. He's super relatable, he's a person that's been around this league, a lot of egos, a lot of different players so he knows how to adjust and that alone you know, makes my job easy. Knowing that, you know, he's a person that you can go to and talk to and say, "this is how I feel about certain things" and "okay then, let's find out how we can implement it" and he's not a guy who's egotistical to say this play is gonna work versus this. If it doesn't work, okay cool, let's throw it out and let's find something else. And when you see that you're kinda drawn back because he's the person who's been in the league multiple years and for him to have that type of point of view, you know, it's a winning – it's a mentality. So, if he has that mentality it's only going to be contagious and that's what we're expecting.
On first impressions of the new receivers: Well, I've already, I've known Torrey prior to him being a Panther. But I think his affiliation is what's needed the most. He's obviously the oldest in that group and just his natural instinct is going to take over and be that vocal, the subtle leader that we need. Obviously it's Funchess' room because he's been in there the longest, but at the same time, not only is Funchess getting better off Torrey, but Torrey is getting better because of Funchess. And that's the type of partnership that you need, as far as "Janky Thumb," as I call him, J Wright, "Sleepy," DJ Moore and "Default Swag" Torrey. They've all been a key acquisition for us up until this point. And the coaches have been doing a great job of not only staying on them, but staying on the quarterbacks, as far as keeping everything the same. Getting some type of familiarity with yourself in the process. Getting ready to go to practice.
On fan base growing and changing: It's just been something exciting to kind of witness. You know, I have my own stories, but, this shirt says it all. "Change the culture." In a sense of we want to take over or take back the division. And it starts every single day. And if we can do that, we believe in strength in numbers. And when we have, the showings that we've been having in the past couple of years with the travel from your fans, it makes a big difference. And not only that, but playing in Bank of America Stadium. So, from the fan's perspective, we have been hearing the support, and we need more of it.
On David Tepper: It's been good, he's been good. He was an open book for us, and I think that's extremely important because it's been a lot of unknowns for him, so to speak, because we didn't know. When you see the team just sold for what it sold for, it's like sheesh. I think I'm up for an upgrade, you know what I'm saying. That's just something that you know it. You hope that him coming in is similar to Norv. It's like, what is he gonna be like? I hope he isn't as different or what we have been used to, and from the early meetings, it's been great. I think it's gonna be something that we haven't had and that's not a bad thing, on either parties. So I think for us, the excitement is something that we all should get prepared for. I'm excited knowing that we have a very lively owner and he's, first thing he say, he wants to win so that alone should get anybody excited.
On if he's having the most fun he's ever had playing football: I'm always having fun. It has never been a time that that has faltered. There has been times when it's been jaded a little but, you know, that's my life. When people see me play or anything, it's being positively contagious and when, being around certain people, I hope I'm that for a person. Seeing people smile, coach said it best the other day, just going on certain statistics about winning and reading articles about coaches and one of the coaches said in an article, body language is everything. Nobody wants to be around a person that's slumped over or always being a pest or a pessimist about certain things, certain situations. They want to be around a person who is gonna bring light and optimism to every situation. And a person may look at it like "aw, Cam's dancing," "aw Cam's always smiling," "aw Cam's always joking," but it's deeper than that. It's knowing that we're playing in front of 70 plus, 90,000 and millions watching all across America and even international. Practices like today…having full pads and hot sun, finding any and everything to make sure that you're holding yourself accountable and you're doing something that somebody could look at you and say, okay, he's doing it, I can do it to.
On having music playing throughout practice: It's very important, it's very important. I always tell, it's not music, it's just making practice game-like. And I could care less what music is being played, and I don't want to personally to think that I'm biased to that. I'm just saying, we try to mimic the games as much as possible, and we can get in somewhat of a monotony or going through certain things every single day and not realizing certain things. There's never a time in a game where it's extremely quiet. And we have some young players that we're going to expect a lot from, but it's also something that you can kind of get from it because coach mentioned and said it to me yesterday: there's times in a game where you're going to feel flat. There's times in a game where you're going to feel like certain things just doesn't feel right. But at the same time, you still got to overcome it, and either way coach has said it the way he said it. I just prefer it the way I want it, listening to music, making the time go by a little bit faster. Making sure that you can focus not only with juggin' and finessing through your favorite beats or whatever, and still get the job done.
On being able to fully participate throughout the offseason: It was very big for me making the proper steps this offseason knowing that I'm full go. My body feels great. I feel great. And I always got to mention to TD [Thomas Davis] that I even look great. So, I mean, I'm in a position now where I'm all smiles and I pray to God that this is just a mental scare for us, but this team can stay healthy throughout this whole training camp, and we can get this thing rocking and rolling.
On if he feels himself getting older: Honestly, I really don't. I really don't. I think it's certain things that I have implemented in my diet. Things I have implemented in just recovery, and even you know implemented in things that I see that I need to change that can take me to that next level. I'm far from satisfied of where I am now. I feel great like I said and I'm looking to keep taking full advantage of any opportunity that I get.
On his reaching 65-70 completion percentage: Absolutely. That is a goal of mine, and it is certainly attainable. Just off of the premise that if I'm watching film and doing certain things. It's just trusting the process, just trusting certain things and getting out of my own head sometimes. Because playing quarterback if your mind is not clear or anything you can kind of overthink things, and just because I completed this one time you may not think you can complete it again, but truth be told you can do it as many times as the defense is giving it to you, and that has to be my mentality. We have a lot of talent on the offensive side, and guys that can take a 2-yard and turn it into a 20 yards, and hopefully more than that. But it starts with me, and I have to be able to trust those guys and get the ball to them.
This offense vs. previous year: I can't say that. That is not a realistic question that I can answer right now because it is too premature. I just know the excitement that you guys feel right now, because I am excited to go to practice and be around these guys. It is something that we all should look forward to. You've got guys like DJ Moore, you've got guys like Devin, you've got guys like Torrey, guys like J. Wright, you've got hungrier guys behind them that's willing and able to say 'Listen, this is a battle.' There are guys battling that receiver role and it's just fun to watch. Everybody's coming every single day with the mentality that I have to get better to be able to put themselves in the position to help this team win, and that is all you can ask for.
On Ryan Kalil's final season: I'm not going to answer that. You ain't about to bring this whole mojo down. I love the hell out of Ryan Kalil and I respect the hell out of him, man. Just knowing that it's deeper than football.
On anthem debate and social work in the community: It is still a work in progress, like I said. It's certain things that are happening in real life, outside of football that you have to go back to your camp and evaluate it. When I say camp, I mean friends, peers, teammates, family, and just see what the best call to action would be. My foundation allows me to do certain things, to have different outlets, to touch and tap into the community in different ways than I would playing football, and that alone has just been extremely helpful over the years and I look forward to being helpful for years to come.