BOSTON (CBS) — Cam Newton was named a Patriots team captain on Thursday, an honor that isn’t lost on the quarterback in his first season in New England.

Newton expressed his gratitude for his new Patriots teammates voting him a team captain, as he spoke about the honor during a video conference call with reporters on Friday.

“Words can’t even explain my feelings when I heard. I could kind of sense as if it was expected, but not for me though,” said Newton. “Ever since I first spoke to any personnel with the team, I wanted to make sure they understood my drive and understand that I’m not taking this opportunity for granted. Whether it’s showing up as early as I show up or leaving as late as I leave, I know people know that my heart is in the right place. When it comes to this team, there is nothing I wouldn’t do besides put their best interest at heart.

“To be named a captain was rewarding to hear, but now the real works starts for me, knowing I have to prove it each and every day,” he added. “That I have people that are looking toward me and others in that leadership council to direct the team in the right way.”

This isn’t the first time Newton has been a team captain, with a lengthy history of earning the title through high school, college and during his nine seasons with the Carolina Panthers. He said that he’s ready to add his own “sizzle” to the role in his first season with the Patriots.

Newton also confirmed that he has been named New England’s starting quarterback, something Bill Belichick was hesitant to do — at least publicly — earlier Friday. Much like being named a captain, earning the starting QB job for the Patriots left Newton speechless.

“Another emotion that is hard to explain in words,” he said. “I’ve had it planned since I’ve been here to be the best player I can possible be and be coachable, knowing I’d be coached by the games finest in Josh McDaniels, [quarterbacks coach] Jedd [Fisch] and coach Belichick. They haven’t let me down yet and I try to be of service any way I can be. Anything they ask, it’s my job to do it.”

The 31-year-old said that as long as he has legs, he’ll feel confident that he can run with the ball. Mix that with his strong arm and Newton gives the Patriots a dynamic quarterback to replace the greatest to ever play the game. As for what the New England offense will look like with Newton under center, he said you’ll just have to wait until next Sunday to find out.

“I think the most exciting thing is that nobody knows. And you’re still not gonna know. You have to tune in and see,” he said with a hearty chuckle. “Everyone has the same questions – what are they going to do? Will they do this, will they do that? I’m not going to tell you. It’s almost game week. I can’t let all the tricks out of the hat.”

We’ll see what those tricks are — not to mention which game day hat Newton goes with for his Patriots debut — come Sunday, Sept. 13 when the Patriots host the Miami Dolphins in their season opener.

You can watch the Patriots kick off their 2020 season next Sunday on WBZ-TV — the home of the New England Patriots! Coverage begins Friday night at 7 p.m. with Patriots All Access and kicks off Sunday at 11:30 a.m. with Patriots GameDay. The Patriots and the Dolphins square off at 1 p.m., and stick to WBZ-TV after the game for Cam Newton’s first postgame press conference on Patriots 5th Quarter!

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