Why Cam Newton isn’t apologizing for Patriots’ win over Cardinals

Cam Newton isn’t making excuses for his woeful performance in Sunday’s win over the Cardinals, but he’s not apologizing for it, either.
The Patriots quarterback was held to a career-worst 23.6 passer rating. He threw two interceptions, including one late in the fourth quarter that he called “reckless” and nearly cost them. And after Nick Folk’s game-winning field goal as time expired, Newton was caught by cameras mouthing the words “I’m sorry” to offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
But Newton was caught in the moment. Though he played poorly, he’s not sorry for winning.
“You don’t know when the cameras are on you, you don’t when somebody’s shining a light,” Newton said Monday on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show.”
“You play in the National Football League, you play a professional sport where cameras are always on you. It was just a dialogue between me and Josh, and everybody was happy, as was I, and I just knew that I jeopardized the team in a way, right? And nobody, especially not one of the leaders on the team, wants to have that happen, and I knew. You’re talking to a person who’s not oblivious to the way that I played yesterday. It’s unacceptable.
“At the same time, I’m not going to sit up here and be sorry, sorry, sorry, apologize, apologize, apologize. I said what I had to say and it’s time to move forward. I’m not about to apologize for a great team win, and I think that’s what’s most important. At the end of the game, was I in my feelings? Absolutely, just like any other competitor would be, knowing what was done and how it was done, but yet we won, and that makes everything OK.”
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A week after throwing for 365 yards in a loss to the Texans, Newton couldn’t have played much worse in Sunday’s win, though he made the biggest play on the final drive. He knows he needs to be better, but he also knows his numbers aren’t the most important.
“I’ll be the first person to say I didn’t play my best game yesterday, but let’s be totally clear: I don’t play this game for statistical benefits,” Newton said. “I don’t play this game for any type of individual accolades. I play this game to win. I’m not going to apologize for winning. I don’t care how we won and I would take a win in most cases this year rather than having the 300-400 yards passing, when, in my opinion, did I do enough to win in those games? Who cares? And I’m not about to go back and turn the page, and what transpired yesterday was just the result of a great team win that I’m not going to feel sorry for and it is what it is.
“We are finding ways to win, and that’s not something that can show up on a statistics sheet, that cannot show up with people and their attributes,” he continued. “As a team collectively, we have a lot of guys who know how to win. They’re very cerebral about the situation and making the most of every opportunity. That’s what we have to build off of, and as we go in LA and take on those guys, we just have to make sure that we still keep those same conscientious thoughts as we play the game.”
More takeaways from Newton’s appearance on WEEI:
* Newton’s 14-yard rush on third-and-13 on the final drive was a huge play, but it was the 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty he drew on a hit from Isaiah Simmons that got the Patriots into field-goal range for the winning field goal. And Newton admitted he played some theatrics to get the call.
“I wasn’t playing possum,” Newton said. “Whether they wanted to believe it or not, if I would have got blew on, touched, brushed, passed by in a forceful way, I was going to flop anyway, you know what I’m saying? The fact that he hit me as hard as he did, that was kind of surprising, but it is what it is.”
Newton was asked about how his relationship with coach Bill Belichick evolved, and the quarterback has unsurprisingly grown more fond of his coach, who he called a “walking almanac of football,” since joining the Patriots earlier this year.
“My relationship with Bill over these months we’ve been together has expanded with more respect,” Newton said. “I don’t know if that’s even possible for me, but it has expanded, but also just enjoying the moment with all the other coaches. A person that I admire from afar is Coach (Jerod) Mayo, his son Stevie B as I call him, and Jedd (Fisch) and Josh have just been an angel sent from heaven at times. A person to talk to, not only about football but off the field as well and it’s just been a great last couple of months for me.”
* When asked if the 5-6 Patriots are a playoff team, Newton once again kept the focus on the next game.
“I think we can go 1-0 next week,” Newton said. “And just for the record, every game in Foxboro, Massachusetts, by way of Boston, Massachusetts, is a must win. I don’t know who gave anybody any type of inclination, but even a blind man can see, even an unconscious man can notice that every game is a must win. Let’s not play this role of, ‘Oh my God, it’s a must win.’ Since Week 1, it’s been a must win.
“If you don’t believe that, just listen to the radio show, just listen to ESPN, just watch Twitter, just look at social media, and the expectation is already set. So there needs no type of added incentives, motives, or any type of stress here moving forward, because we know what we need to do as a team and I believe we can conquer it one week at a time.”

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