Broncos frustrate Cam Newton during, after Super Bowl 50; QB walks out

Broncos frustrate Cam Newton during, after Super Bowl 50; QB walks out

The Broncos’ defense spent the Super Bowl battering Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton to the point where he could only shake his head in frustration. That frustration didn’t stop when the clock hit zero.

Newton was participating in his postgame news conference after Carolina’s 24-10 loss Sunday in Santa Clara, Calif. He was clearly dejected and somber. After a few questions and short responses, he had had enough and walked off, a move which resulted in him being lambasted on social media.

It might not have been the questions from the media that upset him as much as the celebrating and boisterous talk by Broncos cornerback Chris Harris, who was doing his own news conference near by, that got under his skin.

“We knew he wasn’t going to be comfortable,” Harris said loud enough to be heard across the room. “We were going to load the box, play man-to-man outside, and can your receivers beat us? And can you throw on us? And we felt like we had an advantage right there.”

Newton tilted his head slightly to pick up Harris’ words from about 15 feet away. Newton then shook his head, stood up and walked out, leaving a reporter’s question unanswered.

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The media sessions, which placed various players on risers, were separated by just a curtain, so voices from both teams easily could be heard. The setup is typical for Super Bowl postgame news conferences, but not during the rest of the season.

  William Shatner

Newton didn’t stay long enough to hear about the Broncos’ defense taunting him, both at the podium and later in the locker room. The Broncos had heard about “Superman” and the league MVP all week. They relished shutting him down.

“No one talked about how he would deal with us,” Denver cornerback Aqib Talib said.

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The most intense criticism postgame from all circles came from Newton’s apparent lack of effort to recover his own fumble with the game still in the balance. With the Panthers trailing 16-10 with four minutes remaining and needing a game-winning touchdown drive, Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller strip-sacked Newton on third down. It was the Broncos’ seventh sack of the day and their 13th quarterback hit.

The loose ball remained up for grabs on the ground for two or three seconds. Newton, the closest Panthers player to the ball, appeared to pull away instead of jumping into the pile to fight for the ball. Broncos safety T.J. Ward recovered the fumble, and four plays later C.J. Anderson punched it in for a touchdown.

“That’s the way he is,” linebacker Danny Trevathan said of Newton. “Playing for himself.”

Ward said Newton pulled back because “he knew I was going to hit him again.”

With all the talk in the hype before the game about Newton’s dab dance, Miller posted a picture on Instagram with the popular meme of Michael Jordan crying on each of the Panthers doing the dance move in their team photo.

  Lana Del Rey 

“Carolina had never played a defense like ours, and we knew that,” linebacker Brandon Marshall said.

Talib said the Panthers wanted to be “rappers and backup dancers,” while the Broncos wanted to be champions.

“Did you guys see him dance?” Harris asked about Newton. “He sure saw us dance tonight.”

Cameron Wolfe: 303-954-1891, or @CameronWolfe