June is usually a quiet time from an NFL perspective – the players have been drafted, mandatory minicamp has finished and most players are headed to their summer vacations, spend time with their family or to work out privately.

And then something like this drops on social media.

When a quarterback like Cam Newton is working out with Antonio Brown, a player who many consider to be the best wide receiver in the NFL, it was always going to draw attention – but that wasn’t the point of the two elite athletes working out together.

The point was for both of them to learn from each other.

“When our guys work out with other players from other teams, especially players that are elite at their position, I think that’s pretty cool because they get to see what other guys do – I think that gives them something to gauge what they’re doing,” said Ron Rivera. “Am I doing enough? Can I do more? I think they push each other, I think they help each other gauge each other in terms of where they are and where they want to be.”

And where Cam wanted to be was not only higher on the NFL’s Top 100 list – he made reference during the workouts to learning the ingredients of the #2 juice, likely in reference to Brown being named the second-best player in the NFL while Newton fell to #25, only two years removed from being the top name on the list  – but to document exactly how hard these two top athletes train.

“I just reached out to him and a couple of other players and told them, ‘I want to come work out with you. I want to document it, [and] sit on the documentation’ and when we look back a couple of years from now, we’re going to see this is why this person is how he is – look at the way he prepares,” Newton said on Tuesday, only two days before facing off with Brown, who went over 10,000 receiving yards in his career in Week 1 of this season – the second-fewest amount of games to reach that milestone in NFL history.

Brown scored two touchdowns the last time the Panthers and Steelers met, a 2014 37-19 Steelers win.

“He’s a nocturnal beast, you know what I’m saying? I thought I was bad,” said Newton about Brown. “The reason I say that is we had late workouts, I’m talking about 10 PM-ish; it was like our second or third one of the day! Whenever he feels the urge to work, he works – and I respect it. If he can get some lights on on the field and can get a quarterback to throw him the ball, he’s trying to work.”

Newton has taken to posting early morning videos on social media of himself working out, be it on the treadmill, stairclimber or even swimming laps – he refers to himself as ‘Boogie Phelps’ in those instances; the 29-year old quarterback has made it clear that the workout routine has been fairly constant, it’s simply the social media posts that are popping up now.

While the question of whether Newton posts his workouts more in response to seeing Brown’s posts over the summer – Newton famously flushed his Instagram feed in January of this year before reemerging to post stories – or simply by coincidence has yet to be answered, the question of why he chose to work out with Brown is without a doubt.

“He sets the tone and from what I see in that is like let me take my stuff up! I know I don’t want to waste nobody’s time and I damn sure don’t want to waste my time,” said Newton. “He still goes like he has something to prove.”

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Josh K
Josh Klein is Managing Editor of The Riot Report. His favorite Panther of all time is Chad Cota and he once AIM chatted with Kevin Greene. Follow Josh on Twitter @joshkleinrules.
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