“I got my point across. He got his point across,” the Carolina Panthers quarterback said Wednesday. “We ended on good terms, started on good terms, as well.”
Panthers coach Ron Rivera, who on Monday said he supported Newton’s efforts to address the issue with Goodell, described Newton’s conversation with the commissioner in a positive light, too.
“The nice part was the commissioner was a willing listener,” Rivera said. “It was great and the nice thing is that (Newton) was able to say what needed to be said. At the end of the day, it’s not about getting special treatment, it’s about being treated the same across the board.”
Newton stated Sunday he would speak to Goodell about the number of late hits he has sustained that have failed to be penalized by referees. During Sunday’s win over the Arizona Cardinals, Newton was hit low hit from Calais Campbell — a hit that wasn’t flagged.
Earlier this season, Rivera raised the Shaquille O’Neal theory — the idea that Newton’s size and ability to absorb hits ultimately plays a role in referees not calling penalties in contrast to smaller quarterbacks taking similar abuse. Newton said Sunday he has taken hits that have drawn flags for other quarterbacks, but not him.
Los Angeles Rams coach Jeff Fisher told reporters Tuesday he disagreed with the notion that referees aren’t calling penalties for hits on Newton because of his size. Although Fisher said he “understands” how Newton can be frustrated by the Campbell hit.
“There are hits — illegal hits — that are missed in every game on a quarterback,” said Fisher, whose Rams are playing host to the Panthers on Sunday. “Across the league, it happens all the time. The league’s priority, from a safety standpoint, starts at the quarterback position … there’s going to be things that just aren’t called. At the same time, there are hits on quarterbacks that are legal that are called fouls. The league’s doing the best they can to protect them.”
Newton missed a game last month after suffering a concussion against the Atlanta Falcons on Oct. 2. Prior to that, the league investigated whether the team and officials followed proper concussion protocol after the reigning MVP suffered a heavy hit in the season opener against the Denver Broncos. The NFL and NFL Players Association later determined proper procedure was followed.