Panthers HC Matt Rhule: Cam Newton ‘is everything I believe in’

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Those who look to the past are certain to miss the future. That was the prevalent theme for the Carolina Panthers on Thursday.

After the team announced its signing of Cam Newton, head coach Matt Rhule squashed the notion of any perceived beef between himself and his new quarterback. Rhule, whose 20-minute presser was almost exclusively about Cam’s return (duh), told reporters that what’s done is done and now it’s about winning.

“Cam Newton is a pro.” Rhule said when asked if both sides had to clear the air of Newton’s unceremonious release last year. “We made a football decision at the time, based on his health. We weren’t sure what his health was. We had to make kind of a decision at the time.

“And Cam understands that. He understands these are football decisions. He understands that these are football decisions, football-based evaluations that you have to make. So there wasn’t anything but an amicable conversation.”

Newton, who was recovering from nagging injuries to his right shoulder and left foot when Rhule was hired, was shown the door after a largely successful nine-year tenure with the organization. Their handling of the split from their franchise’s leading passer, however, could’ve gone a little more smoothly than it did.

Regardless—Rhule, Newton and owner David Tepper are all grown men with one common goal and that’s to bring W’s back to Carolina. And that’s also something Rhule knows Newton can do.

“At the end of the day, Cam and I did spend two months together,” Rhule went on. “He was in here rehab and treatment trying to get his shoulder right. I did see him several days a week. So I did have a good feel for who he is. And I know that he’s a competitor. Besides his talent—I know he’s a competitor, I know that he’s tough, I know that he’s everything I believe in and talk about.”

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