In the two days since the fight between Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and cornerback Josh Norman became the dominant storyline of training camp at Wofford, Panthers coach Ron Rivera and several players had spoken about the fracas, including Newton.
But the always loquacious and candid Norman had not been heard from – until Wednesday, when the fourth-year player from Greenwood, S.C., met with the media for 15 minutes.
Norman shared some interesting takes on several topics related to the fight and its aftermath:
On his relationship with Newton: We’re teammates. We’re brothers. We watched a movie (”Mission: Impossible,” Tuesday during a team event). We hung out. I don’t know what else you want me to say about it other than he’s our quarterback.
On how he views Newton: He’s the franchise quarterback of the Carolina Panthers and I’m glad to be on his team. He’s one of the strong captains, the leaders, and we follow behind that. With him at the helm, this team can do a lot of special things.
On their relationship on the practice field: We compete hard in practice. He throws dimes and I try to deflect ‘em, and take ‘em to the house if I can. It’s only making me better and it’s only making him better.
On the idea that Norman’s stiff-arm triggered the fight: I don’t know, I was running the ball. I was trying to score. He’s fun to play with. He comes and tries to tackle us every time. I saw him and I was just toying around. That’s Cam. He’s going to be that guy to go and chase the ball.
On the attention the incident received: It was crazy. I knew it was going to be a little bit of uproar from it but not this much, man. This is just taking on a whole other form.
On the idea he practices with too much passion: I kind of mellowed myself down in practice, but sometimes the offense gets going and things start to rumble in me.
On his mentality on the field: If you strike first, I strike back. And I’m going to come back heavy and I’m going to come back strong. However you want to play it, however you want to get down and dirty, we’re going to get there.
On how long it took to get back on good terms with Newton: When I got in the locker room. ... Came up, gave him some dap and like, ‘Look bro, if we’ve got to do this every day, we’re going to do it every day. But just know this, we’re going to compete and we’re going to get the best out of each other.’
On the possibility of a fight next week during practices with Dolphins: I do know this, we’re not taking any punches from anybody. We’re going to maintain ourselves. We’re going to play disciplined, sound football. And hey, if they don’t like it, it is what it is.