September 18, 2020
Newton Ready to Build for his Future
When Tom Brady went south to Tampa, much of the attention usually paid to the New England Patriots went with him. “Tampa Tom” became the tagline and the hashtag, while New England just went to work, looking for a replacement for the six-time Super Bowl champion.
There was some buzz when that “replacement” arrived in town, but former Carolina Panthers standout QB Cam Newton is not coming into Foxborough expecting the same level of love and attention lavished on Brady. Newton says he’s come to New England to get to work. Is he feeling the heat of playing in “Brady’s town”? Not according to Cam.
“That’s not pressure… Pressure is when you’re looking at your children, and you’re saying you’re 31 and you don’t know… You’re not ready to retire, but nobody is calling… that’s pressure. When you don’t have control…”
It wasn’t supposed to be that way for Newton. A standout in college, the QB took Carolina by storm, earning league MVP honors in 2015. But the NFL is a “what have you done for me lately?” kind of league, and the past two seasons have been difficult for Newton as he lost time and games to injuries. But, he says he’s fine with overcoming adversity and attacking a new challenge.
“I just remind myself (and others) that I’ve been here before… This is my tenth season, so you talk about emotions… I’ve been playing in a lot of games in my life, a lot of opening days, and a lot of first games of the year… a lot of impactful, meaningful games. I know how to control myself…”
Newton says that part of his perspective, how he keeps the pressure of expectations off him, is to live in the moment. “That’s my life motto… Reward yourself, but at the same time, don’t be too hard on yourself that you can’t get to the next play, you can’t get to the next day, and things like that… It’s an ongoing process, but, yeah, I’ll be prepared.”
Despite being in a new system, playing for a new team, Newton understands that there are still certain expectations in New England. He’s playing for a coach many consider to be one of the greatest of all time, and he’s playing in a city that is accustomed to competing well and winning titles.
In the end, though, this is still a huge opportunity coming at a good time in the quarterback’s career. Newton can come out of a bad situation into a better situation and work to build his reputation as a player and his brand for when he’s done with football.