Cam Newton originally thought he jeopardized the Patriots’ chances of beating the Cardinals on Sunday.
Moments after Nick Folk made a 50-yard field goal as time expired to give the Patriots a 20-17 win, an apologetic Newton was caught by the Fox cameras saying “I’m sorry, man” to offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
In an interview with WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show” on Monday, Newton confirmed the exchange he had with McDaniels and the original disappointment he had in himself.
“It was just a culmination of everything,” Newton said of the moment. “And you don’t know when the camera’s on you. You don’t know when somebody’s shining a light. When you play in the National Football League, you play a professional sport where the camera is always on you. It was just a dialogue between me and Josh, man. Everybody was happy, as was I, and I just knew I jeopardized the team in a way. And nobody, especially not one of the leaders on the team – wants to have that happen.”
Newton originally apologized to McDaniels after completing just 9-of-18 passes and throwing a career-low 84 yards and two interceptions, resulting in a career-low 23.4 passer rating. Now that a day has passed since Sunday’s win, Newton will not apologize anymore.
“You’re talking to a person who is not oblivious to the way that I played yesterday. It’s unacceptable,” Newton said. “But at the same time, I am no 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 is 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. Bet yet, we won and that makes everything OK.”
While Newton wasn’t spectacular for most of Sunday’s game, he stepped up when it mattered the most. With 56 seconds left and the game tied at 17, Cam Newton rushed 14 yards for a first down on third-and-13 from the Patriots’ 32-yard line. In addition to the run, Cardinals linebacker Isaiah Simmons was flagged for unnecessary roughness when he hit Newton as he was running out of bounds, giving the Patriots 15 more yards and placing them at the Cardinals’ 39-yard line.
The call on Simmons was a bit questionable as Newton wasn’t fully out of bounds yet. However, Newton was knocked hard to the turf and appeared shaken up. Newton said Monday he “was going to flop anyway” if they didn’t call the penalty.
“The fact that he hit me as hard as he did, that was kind of surprising,” Newton said. “But it is what it is. It was a great hit, I paid for it, and it is what it was.”
After moving the Patriots seven yards closer, Newton did get his money’s worth from the hit. With Folk’s game-winning field goal, the Patriots moved to 5-6, keeping their playoff hopes alive.
With the team losing by one-possession and a chance to tie or take the lead late in games four times this season, Newton is OK with Sunday’s final result.
“I don’t care how we won and I would take a win in most cases this year rather than having the three and four hundred yards passing,” Newton said. “In my opinion, did I do enough to win in those games? Who cares. I am not going to go back and turn the page and what transpired yesterday was just a result of a great team win that I am not going to feel sorry for. It is what it is.”
Up next for the Patriots is a pair of road games in Los Angeles against the Chargers and Rams, respectively. Newton said he couldn’t “spill the beans” on if the Patriots would stay in Los Angeles in the three days between the two games. It was reported prior to the season that the NFL recommended teams to not stay on the road between games and that they would have to file a detailed infectious disease emergence response if they wish to do so.
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