Newton's approach reminds Rivera of Sweetness

(getty images)

Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he loves Cam Newton's approach to the game of football.

Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he loves Cam Newton's approach to the game of football.

It's not uncommon to find Newton running around the practice field running from drill to drill with his arms outstretched, swerving as he goes pretending to be an eagle.

"The only other player I've seen that has that kind of charisma or charm, in my opinion, was Walter Payton," said Rivera, who played with Payton on the Chicago Bears' 1985 Super Bowl team. "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. 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."

Newton carried that over to the field on Sunday when he gave a ball to a little kid in the stands after a touchdown run.

He admits that was the suggestion of coach Mike Shula.

"He says to me, 'You do all that riff raff, whatever you do, but at the end you give that football to a little kid. You find a little kid.'" Newton said of Shula.

"So after I did whatever I did. I heard somebody (Shula) in my (helmet) headset saying, 'Give it to a little kid! Give it to a little kid!' I looked and there was this kid just gleaming from ear to ear, so I gave it to him."

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