CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Quarterback Cam Newton was troubled by what he said he heard from referee Ed Hochuli during the Carolina Panthers' 27-22 win over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.
Newton was upset over what he felt was a borderline late hit by Saints defensive tackle Tyeler Davison - but was even more baffled by the explanation he said he received from Hochuli.
After taking a hit near the sideline as he released the ball, Newton got up looking for a flag and turned toward Hochuli for explanation. The referee said something to the quarterback and Newton stopped in his tracks and looked back and laughed in disbelief.
''The response that I got was, `Cam you're not old enough to get that call,''' Newton said after the game. ''I'm looking at him like, `What?'
''Geez, I didn't think you had to have seniority to get a personal foul or anything like that.'''
NFL spokesman Michael Signora told The Associated Press that ''officials make decisions based upon the play on the field, and no other factors.''
Signora added: ''On the play in question, there is no roughing the passer because the quarterback is out of the pocket and a runner, and no unnecessary roughness because the contact is not late.''
Newton, now in his fifth season, said it is frustrating when other quarterbacks get similar calls to go their way.
''Heaven forbid he gets any rookies - they're going to have a long day, man,'' Newton said.
Hochuli had left the stadium before Newton's postgame remarks and was unavailable for comment.
Newton threw for 315 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score as Carolina improved to 3-0 on the season for the first time since 2003, the only season the Panthers have been to the Super Bowl.
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