These were some of the highlights from Cam Newton's press conference, which can be seen in the video above.
The importance of having continuity on the coaching staff:
“Very important. I think a secret weapon that I’ve had since day one for me has been Mike Shula. I won’t let him hear me say that. He’s been a father figure for so many of us on the field, in meeting rooms. For him to be a part of my career since day one, him being my quarterback coach my rookie year and him moving and staying on the same coaching staff as being the offensive coordinator, him knowing me throughout this whole process has been very important for my growth.”
Coach Ron Rivera allowing the team to keep their personality:
“I don’t know if it’s helped us, because at the end of the day, we’ve still got to play football. A lot of people get detoured or forget the true meaning of football. Yeah, it doesn’t matter outside the play, but the average NFL play is only run from four to six seconds, and in that four to six seconds, you can pretty much be who you are or listen to coaching and make sure you play out the exact things that you’ve been coached to do, and everything after that is just kind of fluff. When people see us play, that’s after those four to six seconds when we’re doing that. When those four to six seconds happen, you see 11 guys offensively, defensively and special teams that’s locked in and dialed in, and that’s what people overlook at times. Yeah, we have a lot of character and charisma and a lot of personality in the locker room, but yet the big picture that everyone should be talking about is those four to six seconds. You got guys that can do this or got guys that can do that, but the importance is when that ball is snapped, you’re where you’re supposed to be and you do what you’re supposed to be doing no matter who you are.”
How he has elevated his play to his current level:
“I’m not sure if I can finger point to something that I’ve changed. I don’t know if I… it’s a broad question. We’re just playing great football and we’re accompanying each other offensively and defensively and we take a lot of pressure off each other when the defense gets a turnover or the defense gets a three-and-out and gives the offense great field position. Our offense is not just getting field goals, we’re putting up points and I think that goes unmentioned a lot, because a lot of teams have great offenses. A lot of teams have great defenses. This team may have a great punter or field goal kicker, but for us, we’re just playing unbelievable great team football that shows and it flourishes when you see a 49-point game or you see a 31-point game, or a 40-point game. It’s not because their offense is playing lights out. Our starting field position may be starting at the 50-yard line, so we only have to get two or three first downs to even get points with our great kicker we have in (kicker Graham) Gano and (punter) Brad Nortman. Those guys have been playing unbelievable for us all season. That’s why I want to attribute a lot of success to great team play.”