Cam Newton saying all the right things ahead of Patriots debut

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Cam Newton has gone through a lot over the last calendar year.

The quarterback hasn’t played a NFL game since Week 2 of last season, was released in March by the Panthers, the team he’d spent nine years with, and then went unsigned until early July.

Newton has a new appreciation for things now that his first game with the Patriots is just days away.

“It’s part of the chapter,” Newton said. “Right now where I’m at, I’m in a happy place, I feel motivated, I feel a lot of great emotions that are going on and not hindering me from becoming my best self. Yet through it all, I like it most that I’m just a piece to a puzzle. I don’t want to be the puzzle. I try my best daily to prove my worth to this team and understand there are a lot of guys here who are depending on each other, and I want to be a person the team and these coaches can trust and depend on.”

He added: "Excitement level is on 1,000. I'm excited, happy. Just to get back into the rhythm of game week -- the preparation, the little nuggets that you can often forget. You have to remember,  I've been away from football, really, for a full year. Sixteen games. I missed the last games of 2018 and only played two games in 2019, so that's equivalent to 16 games.

“I haven't really had this whole process for a long time now, so being around, taking notes, watching film, finding out about different players each and every day, locking in -- (I'm) excited about the game plan and more excited about just trying to get in a routine with the newness of the play-calling, the coaches and even the players."

The quarterback is already buying into The Patriot Way.

“For me it’s not about this or it’s not about that, it’s about executing and playing at a level that’s premium and setting that bar — as people would say — the Patriot Way,” he said. “There’s no denying it, there’s no jading it, there’s no getting around it, the standard has already set, we see it every single day from the great coaches and great players who are playing here now, so we don’t need no added incentive to want to go out there and do our job, it’s a prerequisite, it’s something you’ve just got to do.”

As for if he will be nervous come Sunday?

"I don't get butterflies," Newton joked. "I give 'em."

The new Patriots quarterback seems to be in a good place mentally ahead of his first game Sunday and that could be a sign of what is to come.