I wrote my column today on Cam Newton, which makes about the 1,657th column I think I've written about the rookie quarterback so far, give or take a couple of hundred.
Newton keeps being newsworthy, though. He had the most efficient game of his young career Sunday, throwing only five incompletions and compiling a 127.5 QB rating in Carolina's 33-20 win over Washington.
Coach Ron Rivera has said previously that Newton has the "It" factor, which is hard to argue. Rivera went further Monday in his "day-after" news conference, comparing Newton's joy and charisma on the field to Walter Payton, the Hall of Fame running back that Rivera played alongside when he was a linebacker with the Chicago Bears.
"The only other player I've seen that has that kind of charisma or charm, in my opinion, was Walter Payton," Rivera said. "I think there's something about guys like that that are special. They love practicing, they love meeting, they love just coming here and being here.
"Walter was the same way," Rivera continued. "He just loved being at the facility, loved to practice, loved his teammates. Treats everybody with the same type of respect. They both have this attitude about losing -- they hate losing. Everything they did was to win. They've always been winners…. It's infectious, and you want that type of feeling all the time."
Rivera also said he thought it was "awesome" that Newton handed the ball to a young boy in a front-row seat after his rushing TD. "We're trying to get our fans to understand and realize that this is a football team that wants to give back," Rivera said.