The Carolina Panthers defeated the New England Patriots 33-30 back in week 4 of the season thanks to a last-second field goal by Graham Gano. Panthers quarterback Cam Newton out-dueled Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, throwing for 316 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception against 307 yards and 2 touchdowns by Brady; Newton also chipped in 44 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown.
The Panthers media recently asked Newton if he could imagine still running the ball and playing at a high level when he hits Brady’s age in 12 years. It turns out that Newton is already listening to Brady for advice.
"We just got to get there," Newton said, addressing the idea of playing at the age of 30. “Brady’s, how old is he? 40? Dang. He may be Benjamin Button. He looks like a GQ model, still, right? Golly, I ain’t see no gray. I ain’t see nothin’. I look at [Panthers backup quarterback Derek Anderson], and he's full of gray already. After two or three kids, man, I don’t know.
“As a matter of fact, shout out to Tom Brady he sent me one of his books, so I am reading up on that, trying to find out the cheat codes of pliability as he says in his book."
Newton is a player that Brady actually looks up to as an incredible talent, with Brady listing Newton alongside Joe Montana, Steve Young, Troy Aikman, Aaron Rodgers, and Russell Wilson as players that make the game look easy. So it’s no surprise that Brady sent Newton a book if he thinks it could elongate Newton’s career.
Despite taking the Patriots to task, Newton is still struggling this year as his 2015 season- the one immediately preceding Brady’s comments- appears to be the anomaly. Newton completed 48 of 62 passes (77.4%) for 671 yards, 6 touchdowns, and 1 interception for a passer rating of 137.2, along with 44 rushing yards and a touchdown in weeks 4 and 5.
In the other six games, Newton is 131 of 225 (58.2%) for 1,307 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions for a passer rating of 62.2, along with 297 rushing yards and 3 rushing touchdowns. Since the start of the 2016 season, only Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler has a worse passer rating than Newton (min. 500 attempts).
So perhaps Newton will need to read up on a little bit more than just Brady’s pliability techniques if he wants to play until he’s 40.