CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolina Panthers' quarterback Cam Newton apparently has something in common with two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning, his counterpart this week at Bank of America Stadium. They're both pressing.
OK. Two things.
Both are 0-2 to start this season.
But back to the pressing part. On Monday, Giants defensive end Justin Tuck said Manning was "pressing a little bit'' in explaining the quarterback's league-high seven interceptions -- four in Sunday's loss to the Denver Broncos and brother Peyton Manning.
That same day, according to a report in the Charlotte Observer, Carolina wide receiver Steve Smith said during his weekly appearance on a Charlotte radio show that Newton was pressing.
"What the current issue is, you have a young player pressing," Smith said on WFNZ's The Drive. "And what do I mean by pressing? You know when a young player, a receiver, if he doesn’t get a lot of passes, all of sudden instead of going down he fights for that extra yard, fumbles. That’s what you’re seeing with Cam a little bit, I feel like, in the past game ...''
Maybe that's why Newton overthrew his first four deep passes -- badly -- and had 17 incompletions during Sunday's 24-23 loss to Buffalo. But to be fair he also threw touchdown passes of 13 and 40 yards, and had two other potential touchdowns go through the hands of receivers.
So while Newton may be pressing, he's not alone.
"And that pressing isn’t because, oh, it’s when you’re not moving the ball down the field,'' Smith said. "Young players do it. And he has to understand that. And that’s just part of being young. It’s not just a quarterback issue. It’s tight end, wide receiver, running back. It’s when you press and you have that competitiveness in you, you’re like, ‘Man, I can change things if I just throw it here, if I just do that.'"