Cam Newton Fights Teammate at Panthers Training Camp (Video)
Cornerbacks and quarterbacks are natural enemies. Combine this with the enhanced egotism of NFL football players looking to make their mark at training camp, and you’ve got all the ingredients you need for a fight—which is exactly what we got between cornerback Josh Norman and franchise quarterback Cam Newton at Panthers training camp on Monday morning.
According to Jonathan Jones of The Charlotte Observer, tensions had been brewing between Norman and Newton since training camp began last week, and things boiled over today.
During team drills, Newton threw a pass under pressure that was intercepted by a diving Norman, who then got up and ran the ball back. As Newton gave chase, Norman stiff-armed him in the face mask. Newton didn’t like that, so he shoved Norman, who then shoved Newton back so hard that he knocked off his helmet.
At that point the two scuffled and fell to the ground as their teammates rushed in to pull them apart. Linebacker and team captain Thomas Davis reportedly shouted that the fight was stupid. But Newton then shouted at Norman, “I bet you won’t do it again.”
ESPN’s David Newton caught the tail end of the skirmish on video:
— David Newton (@DNewtonespn) August 10, 2015
Meanwhile, a photographer captured an image in which Cam Newton really seemed to be enjoying himself:
— Hayley James (@LRNROSE) August 10, 2015
Obviously, Panthers coach Rob Rivera was required by custom to express displeasure at this morning’s scuffle. However, he also kind of admitted that, yeah, these things are actually kind of good for team chemistry.
“It’s really that time of year. Guys get into training camp and it’s usually [practice] nine or 10 and that’s kind of what happened. You really don’t expect it to be your quarterback. But the thing I try to take away from it—and you try to look for the positive in it—is hey, he stood up for himself, the other guy stood up for himself. I know it’s the quarterback but we treat everybody the same. I wasn’t pleased about the fight. I wasn’t pleased about who was in the fight. But again I understand it. Again, I think the thing that a lot of the guys took from it was he’s just like any of us. He’s willing to fight.”
Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott was much more honest and straightforward about all this.
“We’d rather have that,” he said, “than guys out here just going through the motions, playing pattycake.”
McDermott then admitted that he even encouraged Newton to keep pushing and challenging Norman.
“Iron sharpens iron.”
Hat Tip – [Deadspin]