BOSTON (CBS) — Cam Newton didn’t land with the Patriots until late June, as team after team passed up on the opportunity to sign the free agent quarterback. On Sunday afternoon, he showed how big of a mistake that was as he ran wild during his New England debut.
Newton looked like his old self on Sunday, running for 75 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries in New England’s 21-11 win over the Miami Dolphins. He looked even better in terms of accuracy, completing 15 of his 19 passes for 155 yards.
Bill Belichick’s game plan certainly had a lot to do with it, as did Newton’s execution of the game plan, but you can also thank that handful of teams that didn’t think the quarterback was worth a look for giving Newton a little bit more motivation this season.
“I do feel disrespected to a degree. That is making me more loyal and excited to the Patriots organization for giving me an opportunity,” Newton told WEEI on Monday morning. “Who knows, seeing what they saw yesterday or seeing what they had been seeing regretted it. I do feel like I wake up ticked off with things to prove to people, whether it’s players or GMs. I don’t need too much to get going.
“When I play teams that I do know had the opportunity to come and get me, yeah, it’s an added advantage to want to go out and do more,” he added.
The Patriots won’t face many of those teams, as most of New England’s opponents were established at the QB position during the offseason. But the Patriots will play the Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Chargers later this year, and both of those teams are probably second-guessing their lack of interest in Newton.
But their loss is New England’s gain, as Newton looked pretty healthy throughout his Patriots debut. There was some slight concern as he grabbed his left leg as he left the field on Sunday, leading to some speculation that Newton may have a hamstring injury, but he scoffed at that notion Sunday afternoon and again on Monday.
“I don’t know where that came from. I didn’t have no hamstring problems,” he said. “We won, so that means I’m not hurt no more.”
Newton did admit to experiencing some soreness, but explained that its part of the game.
“I think I missed this victoriously sore feeling,” he joked. “Other than that I’m good to go.”
He also doesn’t seem too worried about running the football. If that’s what the game plan calls for, he’s willing to do anything to get a victory.
“That’s just been me. Every year a new discussion comes up about, ‘It’s not smart to run, it’s not smart to do this or do that.’ At the end of the day I feel like whatever necessary way you have to go about winning a football game, that’s what you have to do,” said Newton, whose 15 carries on Sunday were the second-most of his career. “Me being the ultimate competitor, if I’m asked to block I’m willing to do it. If I’m asked to go run a route I’m willing to do it. There are many ways to attack a defense, and having a quarterback that can run is another way to do that.
Newton says he will continue to be smart when he takes off, and not just run to simply show off his ability.
“As long as I run and take care of myself and get down when need be, I feel everything will be OK,” he added.