Newton glad to get Vick support

Cam Newton will lean on Carolina veterans.
Cam Newton will lean on Carolina veterans. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Posted: September 08, 2011

Carolina Panthers rookie quarterback Cam Newton said when he picked up the phone, he was surprised to hear Michael Vick on the other end.

"He was giving me [advice] on what he thought I needed to do, as far as what I'm capable of doing," said Newton, the top pick in this year's NFL draft. "He's been through my situation . . . Obviously he's a person that I idolize and whatever he says right now is golden."

At least Vick, who was the No. 1 pick in the 2001 NFL draft, wasn't thrown into the fire as a rookie with Atlanta the way Newton will be Sunday when the Panthers open the season against Arizona and Vick's former Eagles teammate, quarterback Kevin Kolb.

Newton will open his NFL career in the same stadium where he helped Auburn win the national championship earlier this year.

Noteworthy * 

Peyton Manning has quarterbacked every game for Indianapolis since Sept. 6, 1998. But he will be in street clothes when the Colts open the season at Houston, still recovering from neck surgery while Kerry Collins starts in his place. Manning's 227-game streak is the second longest in history among NFL quarterbacks behind only Brett Favre, whose 297-game run - 321 including the postseason - ended last season.

* Dallas starting cornerback Terence Newman didn't practice and likely won't play Sunday at the New York Jets because of a lingering groin problem, and fellow starting cornerback Mike Jenkins left practice with a knee injury. Starting right tackle Tyron Smith also left with a knee injury. Smith and Jenkins were having MRIs to determine the severity of their injuries, and are considered day-to-day.

* Houston defensive end Antonio Smith said that the apparent drowning of his friend in the pool behind his home over the weekend was a "tragic accident." The body of Engram Lamar Crenshaw, 37, was discovered on Sunday morning, following a party at Smith's ranch-style home in a suburb about 30 miles southwest of Houston. Smith said he was cooperating with authorities as they investigate Crenshaw's death. An autopsy was performed Monday, and results of toxicology tests ar expect in about 3 weeks.

In other Texans news, Arian Foster says he is not sure he'll be able to play in Sunday's opener against Indianapolis because of his hamstring injury. Foster, the 2010 NFL rushing champion, hurt his left hamstring early in training camp, then aggravated it in a preseason game Aug. 27. He has been limited in practice since, and said he may not know until just before kickoff if he'll be ready to go.

* Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio said David Garrard's three-interception performance in practice Monday prompted the switch to Luke McCown as the starting quarterback and Garrard's stunning release. "I think that was the last straw," Del Rio said.

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