Newton looks to take next step in development

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — As Cam Newton ran on to the practice field flashing that contagious smile, his teammates fell in line behind him for the start of drills.

The multi-talented quarterback who took the NFL by storm a year ago, earning AP Offensive Rookie of the Year honors, appears ready to take on an even bigger role this year with the Carolina Panthers — one of becoming a team leader.

While Newton stopped well short of calling this his team, he made it clear that everyone is welcome to jump on his shoulders as he carries this team to better things in 2012, saying "The playmakers are going to have to make plays; the leaders are going to have lead — if you have to ask yourself what you are, you're neither."

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