“There’s an aura that you get when you play as a member of the New England Patriots.”
To quarterback Cam Newton, there’s an “aura” about you when you suit up for the New England Patriots.
“One thing I did peep from walking in Day 1, there’s an aura that you get when you play as a member of the New England Patriots,” Newton explained after the Patriots defeated the Raiders on Sunday, 36-20. “That aura can sometimes be like errrr, it’s just the Patriot Way to a degree on the outside looking in, but from the inside looking out, these guys really enjoy the process, as well as myself. Me being a member, I’m just lucky to be here and any time I could lighten the mood in some way shape or form, I hesitate not.”
Newton, who was 17-for-28 of 162 yards with a touchdown, went on to explain how lethal the Patriots’ offense is, and with that, how prepared they are to take on any opponent in more ways than one.
“We want to put defenses in fits knowing that we have so many different ways to beat you,” Newton said after the game during the postgame press conference. “And a plethora of different type of schemes [and] we want to run down hill, run on the edge, throw it deep, it doesn’t matter. I think that’s been out biggest edge as far as just having that ability to attack the team in many different ways and still be successful.”
For the most part, the Patriots played with an edge against the Raiders. Newton credited offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels (who has been given his own nickname) and wide receiver Julian Edelman for holding the team accountable after the loss to the Seahawks in Week 2.
“Mickey-D’s [pause], Coach McDaniels, had came to me, as well as Jules, and challenged us to not let our foot off the gas,” he said. “We’ve had a relatively interesting practice this week knowing that the tempo [and] expectations was extremely high. Coming off the loss, this was kind of different for me being in the building and seeing how people react differently to losing. It wasn’t acceptable to me and I know it wasn’t acceptable for a lot of others in this building.“We knew we had to finish with the ball in our hands as well as create some type of cushion with that center piece drive, so to speak,” he continued. “We had plays that was called and we tried to execute as much as possible. and I think we did a great job of that outside of one specific force. But, at the end of the day, we had a couple of those answer drives this year and I’m extremely pleased with our team [for] the way they’ve handled it defensively [and] offensively. When you got that type of chemistry early, it only builds great habits here moving forward in the latter part of the season.”
Despite the “slow start” to the game, Newton was impressed with how the offense managed to regain its momentum and continue to “attack” for the remainder of the game.
“For us, to be able to attack and stay on the attack all game is something that doesn’t just go unnoticed for us. We understood we had a pretty good passing game last game, we had pretty much a mixture the first game — which we would kind of prefer — as well as this game, a slow start but at the end of the day, we find ways to win. When you’re able to do that as a team collectively, as coach [Belichick] said, ‘Playing complimentary football’, things will be ascending for us as far as success.”
To Newton, the team’s success is indicative of just how well every player “maximizes” their roles, as was shown by the running backs against the Raiders.
“Berky had a game. He had a day,” Newton said. “Those guys was teasing each other in the locker room with Sony [Michel], he did a lot of heavy lifting and for the most part, I wouldn’t say it’s more or less like that because we practice to maximize our role. I think that’s what you got guys doing when it comes to guys like Small Fry, Burky, Son Son and everybody else. It doesn’t matter if it was at the running back position, which was highlighted today, or anything else moving forward.”
“It’s just another different asset to attacking the defense and, like I said, Burky had a day and who knows who it could be next week.”
However, not every pass was perfect on Newton’s part. He took responsibility for throwing a costly interception in the second quarter, yet he remained satisfied with how the team executed regardless.
“I just got to do a better job of protecting the football, that inexcusable interception was completely my fault. Trying to extend the play kind of pressing them too much, but yet, at the end of the day those type of games will happen and we did what we needed to do and that’s all that matters.”
“We just find ways to win,” Newton added. “That’s it. We’ve played three different teams, three different type of teams and each game, there’s been 100 percent consistency and the feel of knowing that we’re going to be in the best situation to win and still having the opportunity to win. You’re back with guys who play for each other, for the common goal, and that’s what it’s all about.”
On a lighter note
One things for certain, Newton is having fun out there, whether it’s the nicknames he has for every player (and coach) or bonding with teammates on the sidelines. While sitting next to wide receivers N’Keal Harry and Julian Edelman on the sideline, Newton was spotted laughing and instantly became a meme.
While Newton wouldn’t let in on what exactly he and Harry were talking about, he did discuss their friendship and the bond that Newton is building with his teammates.
“I’m just going to keep that discussion on the field and we could just go from there,” Newton said with a grin. “I just think it’s better that people wonder what we were talking about rather than actually know it, and to be honest with you, I really don’t even know. I was tryin’ to read his lips like, ‘Man what is he saying?’ But yeah, those guys have been great. Doughboy is growing up by the game and obviously having the leadership of Jules — he’s done a great job for us and I expect him to keep pointing upwards with his production.”
Newton also took the time to express how important James White is to the team, and that the win on Sunday is, in a way, a “reward” to him:
“James, he’s a captain for a reason. The thing about it most is when you have a guy like that you empathize with what he’s going through. You don’t necessarily feel it personally but you feel it emotionally and we just want to reward him and put him in good spirits. I know if he’s watching this or did watch the game, and we’re excited like heck to get him back here soon and we’ve been praying for him. We need Sweet Feet back.”