Thinking back to the week of practice leading up to the Patriots’ Sunday upset win over the Ravens, Cam Newton told “The Greg Hill Show” on Monday morning that it was another example of Bill Belichick seeing the future.
In this case, it was making players practice in difficult weather conditions.
“Coach [was] like, ‘Whatever we get out there, we’re going to practice in it,'” Newton recalled. “We had an opportunity to practice in some type of weather like that. I think it was beneficial for us.”
Amid heavy wind and rain, the Patriots played largely mistake-free football while the Ravens were unable to match them.
Still, despite the ultimate outcome in a 23-17 win, Newton lamented a missed touchdown pass to wide receiver Jakobi Meyers.
“It was like throwing a medicine ball though. I knew it as soon as it left my hand,” said Newton of the missed score in the third quarter. “There were a couple of those throws as a matter of fact like that last night where it was just like, ‘God, take the ball,’ and hopefully it gets to the right place. But last night was fun. Winning is always fun.”
Now 4-5, Newton believes the 2020 Patriots’ best days are still ahead.
“I do know that we haven’t peaked as a team,” Newton asserted.
Here are a few other notable points from his interview:
Going inside the huddle before Meyers’ touchdown pass
The most dramatic play for the Patriots on Sunday was a touchdown pass thrown not by Newton, but by Meyers. With just over a minute remaining in the second quarter, Meyers calmly dropped a 24-yard toss into the hands of running back Rex Burkhead to give the Patriots a lead they would not relinquish.
The second year receiver has a history not only as a quarterback, but also with Newton (having played as a 16-year-old in the 7-on-7 All-Star tournament hosted by Newton’s foundation in North Carolina).
“Jakobi can take the humble route, but I know personally [who] Jakobi is,” said Newton in praise of his teammate. “In high school, when he was on my 7-on-7 team, Jakobi without question I would say could throw it 65-70 yards, easily. With him having a baseball background — he played baseball — it was always the short, intermediate passes that Jakobi lacked.
“So when I saw him throw yesterday, I wasn’t surprised,” Newton added. “I’ve seen him throw it a thousand times.”
Newton offered some inside access into the Patriots’ huddle when the wide receiver pass play was called.
“He heard it, I was like, ‘Well, we got X, Y, Z,’ and Jakobi looked, he was like, ‘Huh?'” Newton explained. “I said, ‘Yeah, the play was called. He looks down, he was like, ‘Damn, hold on.’ So everybody’s looking at him, looking at his gloves, so he’s like, ‘Well, I gotta take off one of these gloves.’ He took off one of his gloves. [Ryan Izzo] was like, ‘You want my warm pouch, so you can keep your hands dry?’ [Meyers] was like, ‘No, no, no, but hold my second glove too.'”
“We had a moment as an offense in that huddle,” Newton added, “because it was coming off a TV timeout, and Jakobi was [nervous]. I was like, ‘Bro, relax, if you don’t got nobody, just throw it to your check-down, which is me, and I’m going to make something out of it.'”
Yet when the play began, Newton was unexpectedly covered. Still, Meyers saw Burkhead and was able to find him for the score.
“When the play was snapped, somebody went straight to me, so I was like, ‘Dang, Jakobi, you have nobody, so just throw it!'” said Newton. “And I was telling him to throw it out of bounds, but he ended up making the play. And when I looked at the play on ESPN, I was like what is [the defender] doing? He’s trying to keep his hands over [Burkhead’s] eyes? But it was just fun, and making those plays is something that we’re going to need moving forward a lot, especially getting into the second half of the season.
An update on Julian Edelman
The Patriots have managed to win back-to-back games without the help of wide receiver Julian Edelman, who was placed on injured reserve in October after having a procedure on his knee.
The 34-year-old is eligible to return in Week 11 against the Texans, and is reportedly progressing towards a return to the field. Newton was asked about Edelman on Monday.
“I can confirm he’s getting better, he’s getting well,” Newton said of the Patriots’ veteran receiver.
Newton added some perspective on what he thinks Edelman’s place is in team history.
“Julian Edelman is obviously a pinnacle, I would say a person that’s on Mount Rushmore of Patriots history over the years for everything that he has done and what he represents as a player, so I’m just anticipating the day that he comes back.”
Patriots fans are ‘second to none’
After explaining earlier in the season his disappointment at not being able to play in front of Patriots fans, Newton was asked if playing in a primetime matchup gave the team extra momentum even in an empty Gillette Stadium.
The Patriots’ quarterback said that “every game” feels like a primetime matchup because of the fanbase as a whole.
“Especially being here in Boston,” Newton noted. “The fan support is like second to none. Not to say where I was before it wasn’t good, because it was. But at the same time, you just try to find any type of competitive nature to get yourself going. And it is tough sometimes not to have a crowd, because that momentum is just stale. You have to generate the momentum on the sideline with the army that you brought. For us, we’ve been able to generate that enough here in the last couple weeks.”
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