<
>

Panthers' Cam Newton: MVP is 'irrelevant to me right now'

play
Time to call Cam Newton a great quarterback (0:57)

ESPN Panthers reporter David Newton says Cam Newton should no longer be referred to as an athletic or dual threat quarterback. Thirty-three touchdown passes and five in three of the past five games makes him a great quarterback. (0:57)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – It’s apparent that Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is the front-runner for the NFL Most Valuable Player Award.

It might already be a lock.

So what does Newton think about it?

“It’s irrelevant to me right now," he said.

Newton wants the focus to remain on the ultimate goal, a Super Bowl victory. He wants the immediate focus to be on getting past Atlanta on Sunday at the Georgia Dome and improving to 15-0.

As Newton reminded, he’s never been 15-0.

But Newton was 14-0 during at Auburn in 2010, when he led the Tigers to a national championship and won the Heisman Trophy.

Awards are nothing new to Newton.

That Newton has won the NFC Offensive Player of the Week Award four times this season is evidence that he’s the front-runner for the MVP trophy. Only New England’s Tom Brady, with five in 2007, won more Player of the Week awards.

Brady was the league MVP that year.

Newton won his fourth award this past week after becoming the first quarterback to pass for more than 300 yards, rush for 100 yards and throw for five touchdowns in a game. He became the first player since running back LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006 to win four weekly awards during a seven-week span.

Newton didn’t call that irrelevant, but he did share the credit.

"It’s a culmination of guys making plays and [me] feeling comfortable in the pocket," he said. “Everybody is doing their job. Offensive football is the ultimate team sport. You need all 11 members to do their job."

But this goes beyond Newton feeling comfortable in the pocket. It also has to do with confidence that is at an all-time high.

“I can remember when I was early on in this league I would hit a wall," Newton said. “I was like, ‘Oh my God, I just wish every day was Sunday.’ But now, you get into a rhythm.

"I have to take these type of notes. I have to look at movement keys of what makes this cornerback different than another cornerback. Why is this person coming in on this particular package? I have to be alert for it. It’s overall growth and understanding of trying to perfect your role and create an edge for us to win on Sunday."

Winning on Sunday is more important to Newton than an MVP award.

“We are living in the moment and making the most of it," he said.