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Sports

QB Newton hopes concerns addressed after talk with Goodell

Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton speaks to the media during a news conference in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016. Newton spoke briefly about meeting with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after complaining that he didn't feel officials were protecting him in the pocket. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton speaks to the media during a news conference in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016. Newton spoke briefly about meeting with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after complaining that he didn't feel officials were protecting him in the pocket. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is hopeful his concerns over taking "illegal hits" from defensive players while he's in the pocket will be addressed on the field following a "great conversation" with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

The two spoke Tuesday by phone, and Newton says that Goodell was receptive to his concerns.

The QB says, "I got my point across. He got his point across. That's it."

Newton said after Sunday's game he didn't feel safe in the pocket after no flag was thrown when Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Calais Campbell crashed into his legs as he was releasing the football.

Asked if he thinks his concerns will be enforced on the field, Newton replied, "We'll wait to see Sunday and moving forward."

The Panthers visit the Rams on Sunday.

Newton didn't provide details of his talk with Goodell, saying it was a "confidential conversation."

But after the call he had a positive vibe.

"Anytime you're being heard, obviously, with a person of his magnitude, I respect that," Newton said. "I just wanted to be efficient of his time and make sure I got my point across. I believe I did. ... We ended on good terms. We started on good terms as well. Nothing changes."

Newton said he raised many of the same points he did on Sunday when he blasted officials in his postgame news conference following Carolina's 30-20 win over Arizona. Newton said at the time he didn't feel safe in the pocket because officials don't treat him like other QBs.

Newton said he just wants to be treated like other NFL quarterbacks regardless of his size.

"Illegal hits for me starts in the pocket," Newton said. "It's funny how a lot of people have a lot to say. I know when I am running the football I am on my own. I understand that. I'm not a dummy or oblivious to the fact that I run the football more than any quarterback who has ever played this game. I mean, duh. I'm fine with that.

"In the pocket, that's all I'm asking for, just to get ... the same calls, that's all."

Panthers coach Ron Rivera has stood behind Newton's concerns, comparing him to Shaquille O'Neal in that he doesn't get the calls because he's bigger than other players at his position.

"At the end of the day, it's not about special treatment," Rivera said. "It's about being treated the same."

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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