By Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — It hasn’t been a very good season for the Patriots or quarterback Cam Newton. They were eliminated from the playoffs last weekend, giving the team little to play for over the final two weeks.

But through the losing and his struggles on the field, Newton has remained upbeat and downright jovial. In fact, Newton was in an “extremely festive” mood when chatting with reporters Thursday afternoon. The holiday season will do that to you.

Newton was in his usual good mood on Thursday, despite the fact that he is away from his family this Christmas.

“I’ve got to call my kids virtually, call my family virtually. Just a time to kind of sit back and enjoy the day as a whole,” he said. “Get ahead on game-planning stuff, but not so caught up in it that you can’t enjoy it — enjoy the loved ones you have. That’s what I plan on doing.

“It’s one of my favorite holidays, if not the favorite,” he added.

Newton does have a gift for Bill Belichick, though he didn’t want to give away the surprise. But you can probably guess what the fashion maven is going to give to his head coach.

“If you know me, you already know the hint,” he said.

(We won’t give away the surprise, but maybe Belichick will be sporting something fancy atop his head come Monday evening.)

And though things haven’t gone his way in New England, Newton is still grateful to have the opportunity to play for the organization.

“I wake up every single day a person that tries to find a lesson in any situation in life, the good or the bad. I’m just grateful to have the opportunity to play the game I love and be around a solid group of men,” said Newton. “I don’t take that for granted, because I know it can be taken away so easily. I won’t allow myself to get complacent in that way.”

Newton has never shied away from accountability this season, and on Monday, after the dust had settled that the Patriots would not be going to the playoffs, he shouldered the blame for New England’s lack of success in an Instagram post. In that post, he also said that he wanted to be part of the Patriots’ solution in the future.

But Newton sidestepped the question when asked about his future in New England on Thursday, instead turning the attention to Monday night’s game against the Buffalo Bills.

“I’m just trying to maximize on the things I know I have to prove, starting with Monday. I play this game for one reason and that’s to win,” he said. “We have an opportunity to win on Monday; let’s just see how that goes.” Staff