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Cam Newton is not a 'wizard' when handling Sports Illustrated spotlight

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- This isn’t quarterback Cam Newton's first rodeo when it comes to being on the cover of Sports Illustrated as he and the Carolina Panthers appeared on Tuesday.

Newton was on the cover twice in 2010 while leading Auburn to an undefeated season and national championship.

Many of Newton’s teammates haven’t been a part of such notoriety. The Panthers haven’t been on the cover since the magazine’s 2005 preview featuring quarterback Jake Delhomme.

Only outside linebacker Thomas Davis was a member of that team, and he was a rookie.

But Newton insists his previous time in the spotlight doesn’t make him an expert on how to handle attention.

“I’m not like the wizard of like, ‘Everybody listen to me. I’ve been here before,’ ’’ Newton said. “That would be another thing a person would say he’s being arrogant or [something] like that.’’

The Panthers are on the cover because they are 10-0 heading into Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day game at Dallas (3-7). Newton is the centerpiece because he’s the quarterback having an MVP-like season.

“I keep saying it, and I hope you guys get the ring, none of that in November is really important,’’ Newton said. “We want to be relevant come January, February. That’s where our eyes are on, but yet making the most of our journey each and every time we get.’’