Matt Hasselbeck weighs in on Cam Newton’s post-Super Bowl behavior
Matt Hasselbeck remembers what it was like to have to face the media after losing Super Bowl XL with the Seahawks, so he understands the unpleasant situation that Cam Newton was in following Carolina’s loss to Denver.
But Hasselbeck doesn’t believe that excuses the way the Panthers quarterback conducted himself during his postgame press conference, which he sulked his way through with mostly terse responses and the hood of his sweatshirt pulled over his head before walking off after three minutes.
“I mean, I get it. I get it. That’s a tough podium to sit on. It’s a tough press conference to do,” Hasselbeck said. “I remember being there, and you can hear the other guys (from the winning team) doing their press conferences, celebrating, all that stuff. It’s tough. I was extremely disappointed in how he handled it, though. You can put me in that category of guys that were quite honestly shocked that he handled it the way he did.”
Hasselbeck took his turn weighing in on what has become a national conversation about Newton during an appearance on 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Brock and Salk” Thursday. Hasselbeck also discussed his thoughts on playing another season, saying he’s “strongly leaning towards” holding off on retirement for at least another year (see link above).
Hasselbeck called himself a fan of Newton, saying it’s “really cool” how he’ll give the football to a young fan in the stands after scoring a touchdown. Hasselbeck said he has “a ton of respect for him as a player” and recalled how difficult it was for the Colts’ defensive coaches to prepare for Newton before Indianapolis and Carolina met last season.
“I think I just expected more in that situation,” he said of Newton’s post-Super Bowl press conference. “I know it’s tough. I know it’s tough, but I was actually very surprised that it went down the way it did.”
Newton was also criticized for not diving on a loose ball that had been stripped from him during the fourth quarter. He later seemed to indicate that he was concerned about getting his knee twisted.
Hasselbeck was asked about that play and how quarterbacks weigh the risk of injury in loose-ball situations.
“Yeah, I mean, there’s a fine line, for sure,” Hasselbeck said. “But … the play in the Super Bowl, I have no idea. It befuddles me to no end. I can’t even, I can’t even, I don’t know even know what to say.”