Cam Newton says he has to keep his ego in check when facing Josh Norman

BY Nunzio Ingrassia • December 15, 2016

As Cam Newton prepares to face off against Josh Norman on Monday night, the Carolina Panthers quarterback knows he has to put aside one of the aspects that makes him such a polarizing figure – his ego.

"Knowing me and Josh, it's a highly likelihood it will be there,'' Newton said, via ESPN, about his ego. "But I have to control that beast more than anything.''

Easier said than done. The two former teammates got into a training camp scuffle in 2015 after Norman stiff-armed Newton while the QB chased the star cornerback as he returned an interception.

Newton dismissed the notion that there could be carryover from that incident when the Panthers meet the Redskins on Monday night, the first time Norman squares off against his former team since the Panthers cut him last offseason after the sides couldn’t agree on a long-term deal.

"It's irrelevant right now,'' Newton said. "I gain nothing, you gain nothing besides a meaty story leading up to [Monday]. A week after this, nobody will remember it. So next question.''

Newton and the Panthers haven’t been able to replicate the success they had in 2015, when they went 15-1 in the regular season and reached the Super Bowl. Carolina is tied for last in the NFC South at 5-8. The reigning MVP also has had a down year, throwing just 15 touchdowns a season after he threw 35.

Panthers head coach Ron Rivera believes Newton must resist the temptation to challenge his former teammate in order to avoid mistakes Monday.

"You want to play against the best and you want to have a good challenge, and that's what Josh is,'' Rivera said. "Josh is a tremendous challenge.”

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