By Eric Schmidt

The Carolina Panthers made former Auburn QB Cam Newton the first overall selection in the 2011 NFL Draft and he didn’t come without questions. One of those questions was his attitude. Newton has undeniable physical gifts but his attitude has been suspect. Newton is chiseled and flashes a million dollar smile but he has been thought of from time to time as being too arrogant for his own good. The signal caller addressed that issue at a recent card signing event.

Beckett.com reporter Jon Gold caught up with Cam Newton at a signing event in Los Angeles for the NFL Players Rookie Premiere and asked the Auburn Tiger QB about what he expects in his rookie season.

Gold asked- Do you automatically revert back to that “rookie” mentality when you get to the NFL? You had a great season, a ton of accolades – do you try to keep that momentum going into the League?

Newton responded- “You have to keep that swagger. For me to have that unique swagger, I think that’s what makes me different from another athlete. I’m always going to have confidence in myself. Often times, I see people trying to critique the kind of person I am – they always get mistaken about my confidence as far as cockiness. I looked up growing up at guys like Muhammad Ali, Deion Sanders, those guys. They weren’t arrogant – they were just confident in their ability. Confidence comes from being very prepared for the given moment.”

Cam Newton has a way to go in his NFL career before he can be compared to a legend such as Muhammad Ali or even a Hall of Fame player of the caliber of Deion Sanders. He first must prove that he was even worthy of being the number one overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, something which I didn’t think he was. He has one complete season of NCAA Division I football under his belt and he worked out of a spread offense. A great college player? Yes. A great NFL quarterback? The jury is going to be out on that for several seasons to come.

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