What Cam Newton had to say after the loss to the Falcons

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) fights to get off a pass as Atlanta Falcons defensive end Brooks Reid, bottom, wraps up Newton’s right leg in the third quarter on Saturday, Dec. 24, 2016, at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. The Falcons won, 33-16. (Jeff Siner/Charlotte Observer/TNS)

Combined ShapeCaption
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) fights to get off a pass as Atlanta Falcons defensive end Brooks Reid, bottom, wraps up Newton’s right leg in the third quarter on Saturday, Dec. 24, 2016, at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. The Falcons won, 33-16. (Jeff Siner/Charlotte Observer/TNS)

Here’s what Panthers quarterback Cam Newton had to say after the loss to the Falcons:

Today’s game

We didn’t start fast as an offense. Just all and all, we couldn’t get into a rhythm and that can’t happen. We would have wanted to have better results obviously, especially for our last home game. But that’s football. You just have to roll with the punches and respond to whatever situations that are given to you. We know that, we understand that, and as a team, we just have to play better complimentary football.

The first half

That’s just football, like I said. You can’t say what it is. You can’t say, “You can stay away from it.” You just have to get into a rhythm. Running the football, passing the football, it all comes down to the little things. We just have, me personally, I have to find completions.

If he has felt like himself these past few weeks

Yes.

If his shoulder has “played a part in his recent struggles”

It’s alright. There is no need to dwell on something. I’m not going to blame anything but my production. Production hasn’t been solid, and that’s me. I can’t point to something and say, “Well, this is the reason,” more so than it just hasn’t been carrying over to the game.

The difference in play from Monday night vs. Washington and today’s game

We are just trying to get mended up. But that’s all in the game of football. I can’t say we can’t allow that to happen but it’s football. We had opportunities during the football game today and we didn’t maximize those opportunities. Nevertheless, no need to cry over spilled milk. I’m extremely proud of this team. You have guys out there battling through injuries, still playing, [Kelvin] Benjamin being one of those guys, Greg [Olsen] being one of those guys, and those guys finding ways to play. Our inability to push through lulls has been the story of our life this year. Like I said, that’s in the game of football. You’re going to have games like this where you struggle early and you have opportunities late, and it’s up to you to make certain things happen. Today’s Christmas, my son’s birthday so there’s not a lot to be mad at.

Kelvin Benjamin

It started earlier this week. He’s been practicing with a chip on his shoulder. I had an unbelievable talk with him and just, for the most part, kind of overthinking things. We know who we are and what we are good at and that’s what we have to do. Simply, when you allow Benji to be him, things like that will flash across your face in amazement. That’s just a result of him doing 110 percent. That’s all you can ask for.

Kelvin Benjamin stepping up as a leader

He has. I’m proud of him because not only has he done that, he’s been asked to do more. And his role from other teams – from college, I don’t know what it was – but for him as he grows older, people look up to him. People look to see how he will react, and one of those people is me. If a person has that much know-how and that much worth, he’s been filling the shoes as we need, but we all could be better.

Greg Olsen’s greatest accomplishment

When you guys told me on Wednesday or Thursday about what he had done and what he was potentially going to do, I didn’t know that. That’s a big deal. That’s Hall of Fame type caliber stuff right there. And Greg, like I said, you can’t put back-to-back negative things to say about him. He’s such a great guy, very family-oriented, great teammate and a person that is an ultimate professional. He understands ball and today, I’m happy to see him get that accolade.

What Greg Olsen has done for him

He has made my life easy, extremely easy. It’s just the little things. It’s being an accountable teammate, on and off the field. Greg’s a person who is an unbelievable ear, he’s an unbelievable leader, and he’s an unbelievable person that gets it. He has been in this league a long time and the struggles from talking to him was him leaving Chicago. I know that is six years removed but that was the turning point in his career. And a lot of guys when they go to different organizations, they can either tank it or just say I’m not wanted. But Greg used this as an opportunity to make him a Carolina Panther for life. When you have guys around like that, then your organization is on the up-and-up.

Not reaching the Playoffs this year

Disappointed but there is hope for the future. We had a long run. It’s time for guys to take a sabbatical so to speak and just get away from it. We have one game left, and there are guys that I know for a fact that will give everything they have and more. We have an unbelievable opportunity to still accomplish a lot of things with us being such a young team. We just have to control the things we can.