Quarterback Cam Newton and cornerback Josh Norman got into a heated scuffle yesteray at the Carolina Panthers practice.
The tussle, which eventually lead to a small pile up of Carolina players, took place after Norman was tackled by Newton after intercepting one of his pass attempts.
Head coach Ron Rivera painted the picture for media today, citing a stiff arm by Norman at the end of the play escalated things.
“The thing that we preach to the defense is that they score,” Rivera said. “And so, even though I blew the whistle, Josh kept going like he’s taught and the offense continued to react.
“What happened was Cam got stiff-armed in the helmet, and that’s where that escalated. The big thing we have to understand is: ‘Hey, you’re going to get stiff-armed. You’ve just got to handle it.”‘
Newton had to be pulled off by other teammates and angrily called Norman a “pissant.” Also adding “Hit me like that again and you’ll know something.”
Newton and Norman continued to bicker later in practice. Newton shouted: “I bet you won’t do that again.”
Rivera didn’t seem to mind the altercation.
“He’s a football player at the end of the day,” Rivera said. “If he throws an interception, it might mean his tackling the guy before he gets to the end zone to give our defense a chance to stop them, he’s got to do it.”
There shouldnt be any concern with Newtons leadership or comradery amongst teammates, but injury for the $100 million man should always a concern when things such as this erupt.
Tension has been building between Newton and Norman, who have exchanged words the past couple of days.
Neither Newton nor Norman were allowed to speak on the issue or speak to reporters as they left the practice field.