It took Cam Newton until the third game of the preseason to finally account for a touchdown. So maybe you can forgive him for being a little overly excited.
Newton led the Panthers to a pair of field-goal drives in his preseason Week 1 appearance vs. the Giants, then was shut out in a half of work against Miami in Week 2. The drought finally came to an end on Carolina's first drive of Newton's second preseason start, Thursday against the Bengals.
After Cincinnati QB Andy Dalton coughed up a fumble, Newton orchestrated a 46-yard TD drive that ended with the controversial No. 1 overall pick scrambling into the end zone from 18 yards out.
Newton then did his best impersonation of LeBron James' pregame, chalk-tossing ritual:
That wound up being the highlight of Newton's night and, thus far, his pro career. He finished the game, a 24-13 Bengals win, 6-of-19 for 75 yards and added 49 rushing yards. Not exactly celebration worthy.
But oddly, Newton was the second NFL player in less than a week to bust out the LeBron tribute. Detroit's Nate Burleson pulled out a similar routine after scoring in Cleveland last week -- the Lions WR later said he was just teasing the Dawg Pound.
Neither act was particularly over the top, though remember the league's owners did vote back in 2009 to crack down on excessive celebrations -- props, full-team displays, offensive or vulgar moves, etc., all off limits.
It's doubtful either Newton or Burleson would have been flagged.