By Alex Barth, 985TheSportsHub.com
Cam Newton has received his fare share in New England this week. The narratives around Newton's last two performances have been ugly, but nobody has been harder on the Patriots quarterback than the man himself.
"I just stick to the man in the mirror and I wasn't good enough," Newton said during his postgame press conference. "I didn't -- in no way shape or form did I put this team in a position to compete, and that's inexcusable."
Say what you will about Newton's play, but he's been as accountable as possible during his short time in New England. The concerns about his 'fit' or 'willingness to buy in' from just a few months ago have been rendered null and void.
That continued on Thursday, when Newton said his struggles, and they keys to turning things around, have "nothing to do with Josh [McDaniels, offensive coordinator]. It has nothing to do with Jedd [Fisch, QB coach]. It has nothing to do with Coach Bill. Everything right now for me is just taking ownership."
"These last two games, it’s been one after another, that I’ve been more thinking more than playing and reacting; what I pride myself on doing," he continued. "I do understand that type of football play is unacceptable. By no means. I’m all about putting the team in the best situation to win and that’s what I have to do moving forward.”
Newton went on to describe his recent play as "trash" and "disappointing."
Yet through all the struggles, it's hard to count out a guy with the combination of Newton's resume and confidence. Especially his confidence.
"Losing is not acceptable in this locker room, in this county, in this state, this area, this region. So Cameron Newton, you need to pick your expletive up. That’s what I’ve learned,” he replied when asked what he's picked up these last few weeks.
Frankly, the written quote doesn't do the statement justice. Here's the video:
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) October 29, 2020
Not only does that sound like a guy who recognizes the stakes for this Sunday's game, but a guy who is enjoying the stakes. Newton has talked at length since coming to New England about how much he enjoys the process of improving and proving people wrong. Based on that, this is the kind of week that he should thrive in.
However, talk is just that. Talk. Can Newton shake off the rust and turn Thursday's press conference into the turnaround moment of the 2020 Patriots season? Or will it end up being a lighthearted footnote in an otherwise dark year?