CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Quarterback Cam Newton(Cam Newton Jersey) isn’t caught up in the noise of the Carolina Panthers being the only undefeated team in the NFL.
“I could care less,” Newton said on Tuesday. “I know it’s only ink just for the media. We can’t make it bigger than what it is. Nothing’s changed as for our preparation. It’s all about becoming 1-0 by the end of Sunday.”
The Panthers (11-0) are at New Orleans on Sunday. They became the lone undefeated team two days ago when the New England Patriots lost at Denver to fall to 10-1.
Newton wasn’t interested in talking about being the only undefeated team any more than he was the potential of finishing the regular season 16-0.
“We have a chance to extend our season and record to 12 games,” Newton said. “That’s important for us. And that’s the only thing that’s really on my mind, and I think I speak for the masses when I say we’re not necessarily trying to get lured in by what others may think.
“We’re always reminded by what coach says, [and that] is to become 12-0 first.”
Coach Ron Rivera was careful to keep the focus on this week.
“Everybody wants to talk [about] everything but what I want to talk about,” he said. “I want to talk about getting ready to play the Saints. I know a lot of people want to talk about what the potential could be. I try to make sure everybody understands you can’t get to there until you take care of what’s next.
“That’s always been the mantra. My focus and our focus needs to be on the Saints.”
Safety Roman Harper said there’s no more pressure being the last undefeated team, but he admitted there are drawbacks.
“It’s really just the media, so you guys are doing more chattering now,” said Harper, who was on the 2009 Saints team that opened 13-0. “I hate that New England lost, because now everybody wants to talk about us even more.
“It is what it is. It comes with the responsibility. I’ve said it all year, if you think this is a big game, just keep wining and the games are going to get bigger. The pressure, all these other things people try to say what it is, all this attention comes more and more.”