Former NFL linebacker Chad Brown has listened to Cam Newton complain about NFL officiating, and he believes Newton has a point. But he also believes that Newton is going about it in the wrong way.

“I do think there are some legitimate gripes that he may have,” Brown said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “But unfortunately, when you phrase it as he phrased it, it comes across as whining. This shouldn’t matter, but of course it does: When you wear the pink suit jacket and the green hat as you’re complaining about something so serious, it’s hard for people to take you seriously. Cam, you’re dressing in a little bit of a clown suit here like you’re about to go rob banks with the Joker or something. I’ve always found it best to handle that kind of stuff not publicly, but perhaps get on the phone with Roger Goodell, talk to the head of officiating, Dean Blandino, and give a real honest assessment as to what you’re seeing. Show some tape. Back up your gripes with some evidence. That would be the best way to handle it. Because now every opponent knows we’re going to get under Cam’s skin, and if it takes a 15-yard penalty, so what? We’ll take that because we know we’ll frustrate him, we’ll get under his skin and he’ll start complaining to the refs – something similar to what we saw earlier this season with Odell Beckham Jr. People saw an easy way to get him off his game; Cam has just exposed himself in that way as well.”

Newton, the reigning league MVP, must also realize that if he wants to dab and dance and do Superman poses, he’s going to do so at his own peril. Defenses don’t like giving up big plays, and they especially don’t like offensive players rubbing those big plays in their faces.

“Oh, absolutely,” Brown said. “To steal a phrase from my old teammate, Kevin Greene: ‘It ain’t no fun when the rabbit got the gun.’ When you were doing all the dabbing and dancing, Cam, it was the funnest thing in the world. Now people are using that as motivation against you and you don’t like it so much. As a defensive player, you recognize who are the spark plugs for each individual team and you do your best to prevent that player from igniting the rest of his team. (Opponents) are certainly going to be doing everything they can to No. 1, prevent him from dancing, but No. 2, to frustrate him and do the things that he’s already starting to gripe about.”

Carolina (2-5) will face the Rams (3-4) on the road this Sunday at 4:05 p.m. ET.


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