After Panthers quarterback Cam Newton stated during his Wednesday media presser that his focus is on Sunday’s game against the Lions and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, whom Newton called “Donkey Kong Suh.”
“My main focus right now is focusing on the Detroit Lions. I think I got my hands full trying to find ways to stay protected by Donkey Kong Suh and my fellow Auburn teammate Nick Fairley,” Newton said, over and over again.
Many fans have been wondering first, what is the reason for Newton’s comments about Suh. Could it be that he is just being funny, by making a lame joke, or is he possibly trying to bait Suh by getting into his head before the Lions face-off against the Panthers on Sunday.
While I’m sure Newton has some form of reasoning behind his statement about Suh. Lions head coach Jim Caldwell says he and the Lions don’t focus on what Newton or anyone else has to say about them.
“I don’t know what [Cam Newton’s] intent is or anything of that nature but I’m certainly not going to waste anytime deviling into it.” Caldwell said during Thursday’s presser. “I don’t know what every coach does across the country but we’re not going to waste anytime trying to figure out what someone is saying and why they are saying it. It makes no sense.”
“The unique thing about our guys is they’re intrusively motivated, it doesn’t take anything from the outside to get our guys fired about things one way or the other. They are excited about having the opportunity to play. The same thing happen last week, with a young man talking about Calvin and his weaknesses and things of that nature and our guys just go play to the game and that’s the way we chose to deal with it.”
Coach Caldwell’s comments are not surprising in the least. He said something very similar last week when he was asked if he or the players pay attention to opponents’ comments through the media. Just like now, his response was simple but blunt.
“One of the things that we talk to our guys consistently about is that we don’t need any external motivation, we really don’t.” Coach Caldwell said last week. “We prefer that they not read the clippings or listen to the news when it has to do with our team or one of our opponents. Whether they do that or not, I’m not certain. Guys tend to like to check the media and those kinds of thing. That’s fine but for the most part we don’t comment on it, we don’t put up bulletin board material. If our guys need that as incentive to play, we’re in the wrong business.”
While I’m sure certain parts of the media may not like or appreciate the fact that he doesn’t want to talk about Newton’s comments or any other silly comments that opponents and people in general may make about the Lions. Let me say that I honestly like the fact that Caldwell isn’t focus on Newton or on what opponents or people in general have to say about them and I don’t think the Lions players should be either.
Now, would it be juicy if Caldwell went on a rant about Newton? Yes it would be.
Is it in the best interest of the team? Absolutely, not.
Whether you realize it or not, Caldwell, is once again bringing a new reality and overall identity to the Lions. Like he said during Thursday’s media presser, this team doesn’t need any other form of motivations, they have enough in themselves and just as Caldwell mentioned, they certainly don’t need to waste time focusing on why Newton said what he and why he said it.
Like him or loathe him, head coach Jim Caldwell is bring a new identity to the Lions and I for one, couldn’t be more happy about it.
Written by LBeasley (Lauren Beasley), Sports Editor of Radio One Detroit
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