Newton Prepares for Rookie Season in the NFL - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Newton Prepares for Rookie Season in the NFL

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP/WTVM) - While Cam Newton is quickly learning the NFL is more difficult than college, it hasn't dampened his enthusiasm and confidence as he prepares for the scrutiny of being the NFL's No. 1 overall draft pick.

And to listen to his Panthers teammates, Newton is saying and doing all the right things.

Newton and close to 50 of his new teammates completed two weeks of player-organized workouts Thursday morning. Newton says he's started to get a feel for the Carolina playbook despite not being able to talk to coaches because of the labor dispute.

"When they gave me the playbook, it was something that there was some focus points that they want to make sure that I know by the time hopefully everything gets settled," Newton said. "There's some notes that I jotted down. And with my notes plus Jimmy's (Clausen, last year's starter), we're just putting it together and we're making the most of it."

Panther offensive lineman Jordan Gross said he's impressed with the way Newton has carried himself during the practices. "The thing you want in a rookie is somebody that works hard and doesn't say a lot initially," said Gross. "He's come out and worked hard. He's in great shape, throwing balls well, trying to earn our respect rather than demand it. That's anything you'd want out of a rookie, let alone a number one pick with with the high profile player that he is. So, I'm excited about it."

The biggest obstacle Newton faces is the lockout. It might keep him from having a chance to challenge for the starting spot, but resisted agreeing when someone suggested he should be frustrated.

"I really can't say that. I'm just going to continuously come out here and get better and maximize my opportunity whichever it comes -- whether it's a day-to-day thing, whenever I have an opportunity to get better, I'm going to do it."

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