Newton not caught up in being Panthers’ starter

From the moment Cam Newton was drafted No. 1 overall by the Panthers last month, the conversation surrounding the quarterback has been if he should start from Day 1.

Panthers QB Cam Newton (left) and Saints RB Mark Ingram talk football on set at the NFL Network studios Friday. (Gary A. Vasquez/NFL)

Making the normally difficult learning curve for rookie QBs even steeper is the transition that Newton will make from the spread-option offense he ran at Auburn. As analyst Bucky Brooks wrote Thursday, it’s a dilemma for Carolina.

Newton is taking the conversation in stride and, in fairness to himself, he doesn’t want to be caught up in it.

“I’m not going to put a timeline on what success is going to be, because no one knows,” Newton said Friday while visiting the NFL Network studios. “Everyone has to take chances, and hopefully my success comes sooner rather than later.

“I approach it as if I don’t want to get caught up. A lot of times, many people just focus on things they can’t control. I can control how hard I work, I can control how much emphasis I put on a particular subject. You can’t control if you’re going to be the starter or not. That’s on the coaches. The only thing you can do is prove to them you’re the most qualified for the job.”

Even though he has a Panthers playbook in hand, Newton admittedly is “worried” about the impact of the NFL lockout, so he’s taking it upon himself to learn as much about the offense as he can. Still, because he can’t have contact with his new coaches, Newton’s questions go unanswered.

“At the same time, I’m not going to dwell that (camps aren’t taking place),” Newton said. “Because if I dwell on that, I’m losing time that I could be using to learn and master the playbook I do have.”

For more on Newton, catch him Friday on NFL Network’s “NFL Total Access” at 7 p.m. ET. Newton in in Los Angeles for the NFL Players Rookie Premiere, where they will get their first Panini NFL Trading Cards.

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