Those guys have earned the right because they have won it all. Cam hasn't done squat. Until he does, he should keep his ego in check. Doing otherwise is going to be a detriment to himself and his team.
Which is exactly my point. You think we're talking about two different things. But you're holding the fact that Cam isn't winning against him by manufacturing this attitude excuse of why he's not winning.
We have a fundamental disagreement on what is holding back Cam Newton. You're stuck on this "intangible" thing when I'm really all about tangibles. Matt Ryan isn't successful because of his intangibles, he's successful for very tangible reasons. The intangibles matter, but they are really supplementary/complementary to the tangible qualities that players possess.
In the case of Cam Newton, his mechanics and decision making are two of his biggest weaknesses. His sloppy and inconsistent mechanics are the #1 reason why he struggles with accuracy. And the reason he has sloppy mechanics is because he's not a polished passer. That comes from his past of being more of an athlete. He never was really taught QB mechanics because of his athleticism. Cam's ego doesn't matter there.
The decision making is also linked to his athleticism. Because of his strong arm, he doesn't have to anticipate on throws. He can just sling it and fit it into tight windows. So Cam doesn't process info as quickly as other QBs, particularly a player like Ryan. Ryan can't fit those tight windows, so he has to anticipate throws and windows. He has to process information a beat or two quicker, otherwise the defender is going to close the window. If he didn't do those things he'd be Joey Harrington. Cam has never really experienced this. Not to mention, he's never played in a traditional NFL offense, which didn't ask him to make pre-snap reads until he got to Carolina. He isn't winning before the snap, something Matt Ryan has to do
, and has always had that leeway and ability to audible and make those pre-snap reads. He played for Dana Bible at BC, who coordinated NFL offenses (not successfully, but the experience is what matters). Cam Newton's college OC was literally a HS coach (do you recall how you liked to accuse Mularkey of being that?).
Look, Cam Newton wasn't even really allowed to audible until the second half of 2012. Matt Ryan came right out the gates and was able to grasp and run no-huddle and audible in Atlanta: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/1 ... leads.html
And that coupled with the fact that he has a head coach that is clueless when it comes to developing QBs, he's not going to get any help there. Mike Smith is equally clueless, so at face value that isn't a big deal, but unlike Ron Rivera, Mike Smith makes up for it in a lot of other areas. His OC is a former TE (Chudz) and isn't going to teach him the intracacies of the position. Basically all he has is QB coach Mike Shula, who's biggest successes mentoring to date are Jay Fiedler and David Garrard. But because of the team he plays on and the system he plays in where the bread and butter of the offense is the read-option, he's not really being given the opportunity to develop as a QB and passer. The basis of the Panthers offense is utilizing Cam as a runner. Given Newton's development as a passer, that decision is somewhat understandbale.
But long-term it isn't going to work. As Falcon fans we know this first hand with Vick. An offense that is basically built around Vick just running around and making plays, as opposed to trying to polish his mechanics and be a pocket passer. Now Vick did of course improve in those areas, like mechanics, over time in Atlanta. It's practically night and day when you pop in Vick tape in 2002 vs. what you see in 2006. But it still was nothing that he was every great at. And with Vick, his problem was that when the team wanted him to be more of a traditional dropback passer and all the trappings of it, he rejected it. He did those things in November 2005, but because the team went 2-2, he made the decision to "let me be me," and basically stopped listening to the coaches.
I have not seen a single scrap of evidence that indicates Cam Newton has done the same thing or will do the same thing. When the Panthers are out of playoff contention, unlike Vick, Cam doesn't quit on his teammates. I think Cam wants to be a better passer. I think Cam would be willing to work on that aspect of his game if given the right coaching and opportunities to do so. But because they are asking him week in and week out to run the ball 8 times a game as a key part of their offense, that situation isn't conducive to letting him develop there.
If the Panthers want Cam to start to focus more on doing the little things needed to improve his passing ability, then they need to take the focus/emphasis off his running the football. That means a lot less read-option and that means having a running game that can be sustaining on its own. They need to get back to the sort of running team they were in 2009, when both Stewart & DeAngelo had 1000-yard seasons. And the other key thing about that team was that they also had a Top 10 defense. That's the sort of team they need to be building in Carolina. Because you don't want to be a run-first team that can't stop anybody, because you're not going to be doing that much running.
And his ego/attitude has nothing to do with this stuff. Cam's ego is that he wants to win. And when the team doesn't, he doesn't handle it quite as well as he should. But the desire to win is not a negative in my book. Should he control his emotions better when he doesn't? Absolutely. But that's something he did much better over the latter half of last season, so it's certainly not as big a deal as you probably think it is.
Was he arrogant at the Pro Bowl? Did he act like he was a little too big for his britches? Sure. But guess what? That too is not
a negative. Eli Manning said he was an elite QB prior to 2011. People said he was crazy. He won a Super Bowl. Joe Flacco said he was the best QB in the league prior to last year and should be paid like it. People said he was crazy, and he won the Super Bowl and for 2 months was the paid like the best QB in the league. And so if Cam Newton thinks he's better than he is then that's NOT a negative with a quarterback. That's a good thing.
If you're going to simply write off Cam as another Vick, that's your prerogative. But I think you're missing a ton of the picture. Could he go that route? Sure. And if Carolina continues on its current path where their owner seems to care more about pinching pennies, and they continue to be poorly coached, then there will be no other way Cam could go.
But they have a new GM, and thanks to the previous GM's propensity for horrible draft-day trades, the current GM was handcuffed a bit in April, as well as their overspending in recent years handcuffed him in free agency (they had to dump $10M to get under the cap this off-season). But if Gettleman dumps Rivera, and brings in a coach that has a real long-term plan for Newton, particularly someone with experience rather than trying to find the best guy that will work for under $3M/yr. salary, but maybe spending to get someone like Ken Whisenhunt or the like, then so be it.
Just like in Atlanta, Vick wasn't in an environment conducive to his success. But there was no template/blueprint for the Falcons to cheat off to know what they were doing. Carolina has no such excuse!