Warren Moon Says Cam Newton Needs to ‘Grow Up’ But Believes Race Also Fuels Criticism

Warren Moon Says Cam Newton Needs to 'Grow Up' But Believes Race Also Fuels CriticismCam Newton gains critics by the week, thanks in large part to his subpar play on the field and even more so because of his demeanor off the field.

The Carolina Panthers quarterback may have hit a new low following his team's fifth loss of the season this past Sunday, when he gave a head-scratching postgame news conference. Newton was once again visibly distraught while passing the blame to just about everyone but himself.

Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon has defended Newton in the past, but even Moon is now left to question Newton's play and his behavior. 

"The big thing with him is he doesn't like losing," Moon told Yahoo! Sports. "He doesn't handle it very well. I don't see anything wrong with that. It's OK not to like losing. You just can't show it as the leader of the football team.

"You have to project optimism and calmness to the players around you. You can't be demoralized. He's not showing optimism. He's looking puzzled. He looks like a guy who doesn't have all the answers, and his teammates see that."

The result is a 1-5 record, which puts the Panthers in last place in the NFC South. Newton has a 79.3 passer rating, having only completed 58.4 percent of his passes to go along with five touchdowns and six interceptions.

Moon said he wants to reach out to Newton to impart some wisdom. He said
he'd call on the second-year signal caller to grow up some.

"I would tell him his demeanor's got to change in the face of adversity. It's more of a maturity thing — he's got to grow up in this area. He's got to get realistic that they're not a good football team right now, and it's going to be tough to win as much as he thinks he should, until they get some more good players."

However, that's not to say that Moon doesn't think some of the criticism of Newton is unwarranted. Where Moon really takes exception is the comparisons of Newton to other black quarterbacks.

"I don't understand it," Moon told Yahoo. "I heard somebody compare him to Vince Young. It's the same old crap — it's always a comparison of one black to another black. I get tired of it. I get tired of defending it.

"If you want to compare him to someone because of his demeanor, compare him to Jay Cutler. There are a lot of guys who whine and moan. Cam's not biting anybody's head off or pushing his linemen. He's just disgruntled and not handling losing well, because, think about it, he basically didn't lose in college.

"I don't think Cam's as bad as Cutler, because Cutler looks like he doesn't give a damn sometimes, or he's yelling and cussing at someone. Cam, he just looks down when they're losing."

That final point is true, especially when you consider Newton was more than willing to celebrate a touchdown with his Superman touchdown celebration — with his team down 23-0 — in a blowout loss to the Giants at home earlier in the season. After the game, Newton looked distraught upon addressing the media, one of the incidents that sparked this controversy.

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