CAM NEWTON VIDEO CONFERENCE
September 13, 2020
Q: Wondering if you could just describe the atmosphere out there today. How it felt to get the first game under your belt today.
CN: It was different. It was great for the team to find a way — well, things showed up that we would not have expected, as we knew and things showed up that we did kind of expect. So one of the coaching points for the game was to be accessible to in-game adjustments and that’s what it pretty much came down to. Getting a win like that, that’s not necessarily pretty at times. That’s good for the overall team character and I think we just got to keep building from this.
Q: You mentioned earlier in the week that your excitement level would be at a thousand for this game when you were out there. What was that moment like stepping on the field, the excitement level, the performance you put in, a couple rushing touchdowns? What was today like for you out on the field and getting back? As you mentioned, you were out for an entire year.
CN: It was relatively picking up right where I remember the game to be, so to speak. I think it was just a feeling process, I think more so for me as well as Josh [McDaniels], coach Bill [Belichick] as well as Josh, to understand who they have and what I have. So all in all, and obviously, Josh has been calling plays the same way for a long time, so now knowing with the dialogue that we had on the sidelines, it was unbelievable, just him being transparent as well as myself being transparent on how we can attack this defense. They had a lot of things that we went over and they tried to disguise a lot, but at the end of the day we made the adjustments and we executed.
Q: At the end of the game it looked like there was something going on between you and the Dolphins. A video showed that they might have grabbed one of your chains. And then the follow-up there is that there was another view of you kind of touching your hamstring on the sideline. So I was wondering what happened after the game with that as well.
CN: It wasn’t nothing. It was a competitive game on both sides. You just have to realize who we’re talking to and just keep everything in the game. I realize I was talking to a person that’s known for doing stuff, so it wasn’t characteristic of myself to keep going back and forth. But, yeah, at the end of the day it’s football and for me, no matter who it is, I play with a competitive edge and I expect the other team to have a competitive edge as well and at the end of the day anything outside of that it’s just all about respect. So I don’t disrespect nobody and I wouldn’t want anybody to disrespect me, but yet at the end of the day we got the thing that was most valuable today and that’s the win.
Q: Did they take your chain off? Is that what happened there?
CN: I still got my chain. I got two of them. You can see now. They were reaching for my chain, though. They were reaching for my chain. And I think that kind of got up under my skin, but yet, through it all, I do not want nothing to be taken away from a great team game that we did have and I don’t want to be selfish to kind of focus or dwell on that. I think for us as a team or me personally, you know, a lot of tempers can flare and I was just teasing with coaches letting them know that College Park almost came out of me. But, yeah, through it all, man, it was just all fun and games and it was expected.
Q: I wanted to ask you how it felt for you to be leading a different group of football players, really, in the heat of the game, if that felt different, how you felt just sort of being at the lead. And in particular, I wanted to ask you about what led you to hand the ball to David Andrews on the second touchdown to allow him to spike it? What led to that and why you did that. Thanks.
CN: Well, for one, this is the new normal and I think it’s time for everybody, including myself, to realize this is what it’s like. I think it came full circle today and — for me to just kind of realize that I’m a New England Patriot and I’m just going to embrace this whole moment.
And as far as the touchdown, Dave is a person who was kind of in my boat, a person that has been out of football, and for him to enjoy that just as much as I’ve been enjoying just being a witness of how he works, how he, his whole presentation, how he shows up each and every day, how he practices. And he was the first person that I saw, so I knew he would enjoy that. A lot of times, having your hand on the ground, you don’t necessarily get the recognition that’s deserved. But none of what happened for me today would not have happened without those big guys up front.
Q: After the N’Keal Harry fumble and then the subsequent Dolphins scoring drive, that was pretty much the first time you guys had faced adversity. They had some momentum. It was a one-possession game. To go down there and score that fourth-down conversion and then Sony Michel to push it in, was that the first time you felt like you guys responded to adversity, and how big was that drive?
CN: That was big. That was big. Coach Bill always talks about being mentally tough. So at that time we knew it was favorable for us to be mentally tough in that situation, not allowing the moment to be too big for us. That’s just a feel-thing. I’m just glad that those guys still trust in me to have the ball in my hands in that particular situation and for the offensive line to sell out like they have done, man, over the last, not just today, but over the last couple of weeks, man, we have just been becoming a very tight knit group that each and every opportunity like we had today is just going to keep making us better.
Q: Today you rushed the ball for 15 times and that was the second-most in your career. What did that mean to you and do you feel like you proved something out there?
CN: I just wanted to win.
Q: I wanted to take you to some of the key points of the game. Obviously, your touchdown runs, but also in short-yardage, you guys, whether you had the ball or Sony or whomever, weren’t stopped in those situations. What does it mean to you personally to make those conversions, and then also to see the team succeed when it’s kind of these got-to-have-it moments.
CN: That’s what we call situational football and for us it’s all about responding. One of the keys to the game for us is for us to win all situational football, and all situational football situations doesn’t necessarily come in the last two minutes of a game. We did feel at some early parts, parts that I could remember, early on, we had an opportunity to put them away and we didn’t, kept them lingering. They had some momentum, but we did respond. I could have played better, clean. But just to see Julian [Edelman] making the plays that he’s made, [James] White and the offensive line stepping up, the defense coming in clutch with three interceptions that we didn’t get no points off, those things is we just got to get better, keep working towards as we get prepared for our next game.
Q: There was some video. It looked like they were, showed you holding the back of your leg and maybe even limping a little bit. How do you feel health-wise coming out of this game?
CN: I’m great. Everything’s good. Trust.
Q: Your 75 rushing yards were the most by a Patriots quarterback in a long time. Just curious, do you know Steve Grogan, by any chance, or do you know of him and the history with him and the Patriots?
CN: I do not. I do not.
Q: Wondering what the atmosphere was like in the locker room after the game.
CN: It was great. It was what you would have expected it to be. I’m just so blessed to have this opportunity, man, to, number one, be affiliated with an organization. Knowing that in itself is a blessing. To get a win, that’s another added plus. But, yet through it all, this has been a strenuous, long process for me, and yet through it all, it’s just been gratifying, and I just had such a sense of gratitude to the New England Patriots and to this team, just to give all that I could possibly give and hell or high water, finish today at this particular time with us having, going home with a win.
Q: Bill Belichick was saying how you made a lot of the right checks and reads at the line of scrimmage. I think we talk about players getting into a rhythm during play, but were you in kind of a really good rhythm at the line of scrimmage with a lot of your checks and the way that you were seeing the field before the snap?
CN: I honestly, I was just doing what I was asked. We had a great week of practice. And as far as my preparation, it helped me out come game time.
Q: You talk about the response, and you guys came out in that third quarter, right out of the gate you did the eight-play drive that you guys got a score. How important was it to come out of the locker room and get ready and get everything going and put everything in the right, go ahead 14-3?
CN: That was big. We was just trying to create some type of space because they were lingering for a long part of the first half, and those are kind of cheap points, so to speak. There was a missed opportunity with the field goal, but yet through it all it could have been a 10-point swing without their offense even touching the ball. But yet we controlled what we could control offensively. And just to give the whole team confidence, from special teams to even defensively, when you go down there and you respond or you score early in the second half, no matter what the score is, whether you’re down or up, it just gives your team that added boost of momentum.