CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Quarterback Cam Newton plans to take more ownership of the Carolina Panthers offence without his top four receivers from last season. Steve Smith, the franchises all-time leading receiver, was released and free agents Brandon LaFell, Ted Ginn Jr. and Domenik Hixon signed with other teams, putting more pressure on Newton to take more of a leadership role entering his fourth season. "Im excited to take this challenge to be this teams leader," Newton said. "More has been given to me on my plate (and) be a leader of men." Newton spoke Tuesday at the team stadium during a break from off-season condition workouts, his first extensive interview since the Panthers lost to the San Francisco 49ers 23-10 in the NFC divisional playoffs in January. Newtons left foot remains in a walking boot after having ankle surgery on March 19. He said he was "surprised" when he learned the Panthers had released Smith, one of the teams most popular players. "If you were in the 704 (area code), you were caught by surprise," Newton said. "Everybody in the Carolinas was surprised, including myself." He said he still communicates with Smith, and hopes the 34-year-old receiver finds success with the Baltimore Ravens. But Newton emphasized the need to move forward as a team. He said hes excited about working with a "hungry" group of receivers that includes Jerricho Cotchery, Jason Avant and Tiquan Underwood. Its possible the Panthers will add a wide receiver or two in the NFL draft next month. "We have a lot of guys that are hungry and ready to prove something in this league," Newton said, "and thats what I want to do as well." Newton was selected to the Pro Bowl last season after leading the Panthers to a 12-4 record and the NFC South championship. But concerns linger over how long it will take Newton to develop chemistry with a new group of wide receivers, especially considering hes not expected to practice until training camp. But an upbeat Newton downplayed any concerns. "We will have plenty of time to develop chemistry with receivers," Newton said. "Just because its organized team functions doesnt mean that we cant (also) meet on our own." Newton has spent much of the off-season working on his college degree from Auburn, but returned Monday to Charlotte so hed have a chance to meet his new teammates. "The first time you interact with a person you can tell by two or three minutes if the relationship is going to work," Newton said. "With my talk with those guys it was great. Everybody is excited. Everybody is ready to accept the challenge. Everybody is trying to find and know their role so they can perfect it." Pro Bowl centre Ryan Kalil believes Newton will continue to develop into a great leader. "The guys who I have always looked up to are the guys who do it on a daily basis and lead by example," Kalil said. "Even though Cam is somebody who likes to get in front of the mike and think hes a lot more entertaining than he really is, he does a great job. He works hard day in and day out in the classroom and on the field." Newton said watching his teammates work out made him eager to get back. Hes never missed a game and its rare when hes skipped a practice -- or any type of event -- since joining the Panthers as the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NFL draft. "I felt like that lost kid that was in detention and cant go to recess," said Newton, with a laugh. Newton isnt certain when hell start running again. He said the ankle had been bothering him for quite a long time, dating back to his national championship season at Auburn. "It wasnt 100 per cent for a long time," said the former Heisman Trophy winner. "I really didnt know what 100 per cent felt like." Newton said the surgery has afforded him a chance to step back and study more tape and reassess his play. "Its been more helpful for me, mentally," Newton said. "I am always the type of guy that always had to do stuff, workout, workout, workout -- no matter the time or the day. This injury has kind of settled me down, like, How can I get better?" Trevon Coley Jersey
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. This week they discuss Russias mens hockey team, the ineptitude of the IOC handling the Nicklas Backstrom situation, John Tortorellas many apologies, and Canadas strong showing in curling.Mexico City, Mexico (SportsNetwork.com) - Christina Kim fired a second-round, 3-under 69 on Friday and she was able to hang on and maintain her 1-shot lead heading into the weekend at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational. Kim, who entered the day one shot ahead of Azahara Munoz, finished 36 holes at 10-under-par 134 at Club de Golf Mexico. Kim has not won on tour since taking home the Tournament of Champions title back in 2005. Paula Creamer was the biggest threat to Kim on Friday as she held the lead by herself at one point. Creamer finished the day with a 7-under 65 and she is alone in second at 9-under 135. Suzann Pettersen also had a strong day, shooting a 6-under 66 and jumping into a tie for third place with Pornanong Phatlum (68), 17-year-old LPGA Rookie of the Year Lydia Ko (69) and Munoz (71). World No. 1 Inbee Park is alone in 10th at 4-under 140 after a 70 on Friday, while world No. 2 Stacy Lewis (70) is tied for 27th at 2-over 146. Defending champion Lexi Thompson (72) is eight shots back at minus-2 and she is tied for 14th with four others. After going bogey free on day one, Kim tripped to a couple bogeys on Friday, but she was able to hold on to her lead. Kim started her day on fire, however, as she drained three birdies on her first four holes on one, two and four. Following a pair of pars on five and six, Kim dropped two shots in three holes with bogeys on seven and nine, putting her at 8-under as she made the turn. Kim was able to put her game in cruise control on the back nine. Following a trio of pars from 10, Kim made her fourth gain on the par-4 13th. Another pair of pars on 14 and 15 preceded Kims fifth and final birdie of the day on 16, which broke a tie with Creamer atop the leaderboard. Kim finished up with two pars to remain in the lead after 36 holes. Yesterday I was lucky enough to hhave two eagles so that immediately made the score a lot better.dddddddddddd. And I had no bogeys yesterday, Kim said. Today I had two bogeys. Its just difficult when youre in the lead and theres such a fantastic field and everyones coming after you. Its been a while since Ive been in this position. And just trying to get back into it. Just enjoying myself. Creamer finished day one with a 2-under 70, but she made up for it with a very strong day on Friday. Creamer also began her day well with three birdies in her first four holes on one, three and four, getting her well into red numbers early. Following three straight pars from five, Creamer rolled in her fourth gain on the par-4 eighth before closing out the front nine with a par on nine. It was more of the same on the back side for Creamer. After another par on 10, Creamer made three more birdies in four holes on 11, 13 and 14. The birdie on 14 gave Creamer a lead at 9-under before Kim later made a gain on 13 to tie. Creamer ended her round strong with four straight pars to end one shot behind the leader after Kims final birdie on 16. I just have a lot of confidence, Creamer said about her putting. Im really, my routine and what I do when Im over the ball is the same every time. Its more about speed instead of thinking about my stroke or thinking about this. I know that its solid and weve been working really hard on that. Its more of a confidence and seeing the ball go in the hole. NOTES: Creamer finished runner-up to Michelle Wie at this event back in 2009 ... Creamer has one win this season at the HSBC Womens Champions ... Wie (69) is eight shots behind the leader Kim at 2-under 142 through two rounds ... After making eagles on two and 17 Thursday, Kim played those two holes at 1- under with one birdie Friday. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys
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