Hyderabad, India (PressExposure) July 11, 2011 -- NFL Picks News: It was not surprising to see Cam Newton gossip sites in recent months, is celebrating its status as No. 1 draft pick while killing time until the NFL lockout is resolved.
But it's not about what Newton. You will not find in New York or Los Angeles or South Beach. Instead, rookie Carolina Panthers spent most of his time quietly in Bradenton, Fla., working to develop a game that will translate to the professional level.
"It was brought to my attention that if you take care of your number one goal, two, three, four, five -- they will be taken care of," Newton told The Charlotte Observer in Sunday's edition. "My number one goal is to be a great football player."
It 'clear that what he says that Newton has followed the NFL closely. He knows what quarterbacks has had both personal and team success, and he uses them as a pro bowler and a compass to guide their young career.
"I look up to the guys like Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger. They're great at what they do," Newton said. "I really love how Peyton Manning controls the whole game. He is the dictator out there on the field. He doesn't let the defense dictate him. Aaron Rodgers is a machine as far as his mechanics.
"Tom Brady is the ultimate leader. Drew Brees is a savvy guy in the pocket. Why not take a little something from everybody and apply it to your own?"
Bradenton is home to the Academy IMG Madden Football, the site was the birthplace of Newton away from home. The 22-year-old Chris Weinke worked with the program manager and a former Panthers QB and Heisman Trophy winner himself.
"We're fine-tuning his mechanics, whether it's foot placement or level shoulders or whatever it is. There are little things that we tweak with him," said Weinke, who knows what it's like to face high expectations right out of college. "The biggest thing with him was he was not used to being under center in college. So the footwork is new to him. He's been able to grasp that. He's doing a great job now."
Works with Weinke at IMG have been an ideal situation for Newton.
"You're down here and it's like 485 acres of just straight work, basically," Newton told the Observer. "You've got three football fields you can pick from. You've got every opportunity to be successful. ... You don't have any media out here to critique everything you do: 'Look, Cam's going to get lunch. Look, he ate a Honey Bun today.'"
Newton's low-key experience of the IMG is far from his last season at Auburn, where he led the team in the NCAA championship while being investigated violations of the rules. Taken continuously monitor Newton, who has found a safe haven is a football field.
"I'd wake up in the morning, cut on the TV, 'Well, Cam Newton is this.' Go on campus and read the newspaper and 'Cam Newton is that.' Put my iPod on and you're looking at people and they're looking back at you," Newton said. "But I knew none of that was going to go down in that little hour or two hours that I had on that football field. It was like I was at recess. I was like a little kid. ... My escape was football. I knew everything (else) had to wait."
Newton thinks his tumultuous college career made him stronger.
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