Crave Conversation With Cam Newton

100th Annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner - Arrivals

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has been making noise in the NFL ever since he stepped on the field and became the first rookie quarterback to throw for 400 yards in his debut. Newton went on to be named the Offensive Rookie of the Year and has been named to two Pro Bowls in his first three years in the league.

Newton has also made his fair share of noise away from the field as well. In addition to reaching sponsorship deals with Under Armour and Beats by Dre, the talented 25-year-old has also produced his own fashion line with Belk, MADE by Cam Newton. The former Heisman winner will also be able to add having his own fragrance to his list of accomplishments when a scent he is endorsing hits shelves later this summer.

During a recent press event in NYC to promote the fragrance, Newton took the time to discuss football, fashion and his foundation.

 

New York is a little different than Newton’s hometown of Atlanta

“I’m a city boy, but New York, man that traffic. Other than that I’m good. I love everything about New York but the traffic, the lights, the concrete jungle.”

Division 1 NCAA football is tough, but the competition in the NFL is tougher

“In the NFL you go from facing Darrelle Revis or Joe Haden to having to deal with a line that has J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney and then going up against DeMarcus Ware or Patrick Peterson back, to back, to back… The talent is at a high threshold. You have guys that are guys that are inspired to be great. They’re watching film just like you are.”

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Pregame music? It’s a mix

“It’s the calm before the storm. I’m very religious, so, playing on Sundays, I have to bring in some gospel music to get my mind right. When I go out on the field for my solo work, it’s straight-killer music like rock and roll, rap or hip-hop. I’m from Atlanta so I can’t go far without hearing southern music from Jeezy, T.I., Gucci Mane, 2 Chainz, Future…the list goes on. No matter if I’m listening to Adele, Lenny Kravitz, Beyoncé, Rihanna or Katy Perry, it’s blasting at a high volume.

March’s left ankle surgery is quickly becoming just a distant memory

“It’s good. I’ve been on it for a couple days and it’s kind of swollen, but I’m heading back to Baltimore to get it back to 100 percent. From Baltimore I’m going to Carolina to continue doing some rehab so that it will be 100 percent by training camp.”

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The Panthers schedule looks tough, but no one is looking ahead

“Our mentality as the Carolina Panthers is to focus on ‘the one’. Our ‘one’ is the first play and then after the first play, forget about it and move on to the next play. Good or bad, you need to have that mentality to sustain success. Thirty-two teams believe right now that they can hoist the Lombardi Trophy because the season hasn’t started yet. You aren’t going to be playing in February if you aren’t focusing on every play and opportunity that you can.”

Don’t sleep on the revamped Carolina receiving corps

“Those guys came in extremely hungry and just like I have something to prove, they have something to prove. We have a lot of veterans that are going to help the younger guys and our first-round draft pick [Kelvin Benjamin], Benjie, is a big guy who is still going to need help. I think he has a solid group of receivers around him that can help him take his game to next level. I feel very confident in the team we have.”

The best burger in Charlotte is at a vegan restaurant called Bean

“I’m a foodie but I don’t eat meat so that kind of limits a lot. Bean has a burger that’s made of seasoned soy and if you bite into it, there’s no way to tell you aren’t eating a double cheeseburger. However, I would advise against opening it because it looks kind of sketchy. Just close your eyes and eat it.”

Fashion is important…

“Being a southern gentleman, I always try to dress nice and neat whether I’m going to a formal event, informal event, the mall or just going to get something to eat. Somebody is always looking. I don’t want to be seen with my pants hanging low, or my teeth not clean or my cologne not on. It’s the small things that make a big difference.”

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But it can be painful

“I always get cheated because I’m such a big guy. I wear a size 14 shoe. Whenever I see one [at a store] and try to go get it, all that they have left is a size 13. We all have been guilty of taking the sole out and trying to squeeze in…Beauty hurts, Beyoncé says it best.

Charles Barkley may have had a point about being a role model

“As a role model, sometimes I love it and sometimes I’m like ‘oh my God’ is there an off-switch? It’s a never-ending process that I’ve signed my life over to. There’s some fine print that has its perk but also has its faults. I’m trying to be the best person that I can be and impact as many people as possible.

Although being a role model does have some advantages

“I have my own foundation [The Cam Newton Foundation; Every 1 Matters] that works with kids in Atlanta and Charlotte. One thing we try to instill in kids is the importance of education because the dropout rate in America is at an all-time high. I’m trying to help these kids realize that without education, there’s no a lot that you can do. With an education, there’s pretty much nothing that you can’t do.

Evan Bleier is a freelance writer based out of wherever he can plug in his laptop. You can send him questions, comments and Buffalo wing suggestions @itishowitis or "like" CraveOnline Sports on Facebook

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