Cam Newton via GHS: It took until after Week 5 to realize playing in New England is 'different'


It was one line in the middle of a long answer, but something Cam Newton said following the 22-12 loss to the Dolphins stood out.

"We still got guys that just don't get it," he said.

Appearing on The Greg Hill Show Monday morning, Newton was asked what he meant and the quarterback explained at length what he was referring to. Within the answer he brought it back to himself, admitting it wasn't until a few games into the year where he realized how different it is playing in New England.

“It’s not as negative as it sounds," Newton said. "And let me correct myself on that — we’re depending on a lot of people who are not used to, let’s be honest, just the pressures of being a New England Patriot player. And honestly, if I am being honest and candid, I’m one of those players.

"It took me (until) after probably Week 5 to realize like, ‘Bro, this is different.’ And no different in a way of responsibility. I come on the radio station each and every week with you guys, and I look forward to it, but when it’s good, it’s fun. When you’re losing, then that’s one of the things that you have to realize, like, ‘Man, how can I piece this together to kind of give myself an opportunistic kind of thought moving forward?’ Because I know in this league, you’re only measured by wins and losses. And some of it is fair, some of it is not fair.

“But going back to the topic of some guys just don’t get it, it’s just normal being a younger or even an older player to not really kind of be able to digest the whole situation at hand. Like I said, I am learning it each and every day, and it’s just something that you just have to get used to. It’s not all negative. I know it sounds like a negative kind of response, but it takes time to just disassociate yourself from something that you’ve been used to and then try to render yourself and everything in a situation that you’re growing to learn day-by-day."

The quarterback did later clarify when he said pressure of playing in New England, he really meant the standard.

Newton also noted the COVID restrictions have impacted the way younger and newer players can learn.

“It’s funny to even think that we’re in the latter part of this year, and even though it feels like I have been here for years, it’s just only been five or six months," he said. "That’s the thing that is hard to do. And I know I speak for myself because that’s the only person I can really control. There’s other players that are in this position that people are relying on and depending on and it’s the same thing. So, it’s not all bad more or less than just the reality of, ‘Hey, I’m not sure they really thought their early-on years from a rookie year, second- or third-year player who really hasn’t done much on the field and now this year they are thrusted in a role where they (weren’t) able to look at a veteran and get some type of notes and topics and say, ‘Hey man, how did you do this? How do you do that?’ And a lot of it is affected by COVID.

"You’re not able to meet outside of the facility with players. You’re not able to take your relationship to the next level and trust, so to speak, because of all the rules and regulations that COVID has kind of hit us with and you’ve got guys that [are] kind of teaching themselves on the go. That’s what I mean.”

The Patriots, who are 6-8, will close the year with home games against the Bills and Jets.