Bill Belichick wouldn’t publicly acknowledge that Newton is the Patriots’ starter during his video conference call Friday morning, but the No. 1 QB did react to the announcement his head coach made during a team meeting Thursday.
“That’s (an) emotion that is just hard to kind of explain in words,” Newton said Friday in a video conference call. “But I’ve had a plan since I’ve been here just to become the best player I can possibly be. Be coached and be coachable and knowing that I will be coached by the game’s finest in Josh McDaniels and Coach Jedd (Fisch) as well as, obviously, Coach Belichick. And those guys haven’t let me down yet. I just try to be of service in any way, shape or form I possibly can be. Anything that they ask of me to do, it’s my job to do it.”
Newton also was grateful, but lacking the right verbiage, after being voted as one of eight Patriots captains. He was one of four first-time Patriots captains.
“Man, listen, words can’t even explain my feelings when I heard,” Newton said. “I know a person may kind of see or kind of sense like — it was almost as expected, but not for me, though. Ever since I first spoke to any personnel with the team, I wanted to make sure they understood my drive and understanding that I’m not taking this opportunity for granted.
“And whether it’s showing up as early as I do show up or leave as late as I leave, I know people know that my heart is in the right place. As far as when it comes to this team, it’s nothing that I wouldn’t do besides put their best interests at heart. And to be captain was just something that was just rewarding to hear but at the same time, now the real work kind of starts for me knowing that I have to prove it each and every day. And I know that I have people that are looking to me (and) others in that leadership council to kind of direct the team in the right way.”
Newton has been the first person in the Patriots’ facility in the morning and among the last ones out at night, and players and coaches obviously have taken notice of that.
Newton isn’t doing anything drastically different than usual this season, and that’s why he also was voted a captain for seven years with the Carolina Panthers.
As for what Newton can offer the Patriots’ offense, he’s making everyone wait to “tune in and see.”
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