cloudyn.png
Thursday April 15th, 2021 1:54AM

Newton feeling thankful, not pressure taking over as Pats QB

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — There are a lot of things Cam Newton is feeling as he prepares to take the field Sunday to succeed Tom Brady as the Patriots’ starting quarterback.

Pressure isn’t one of them.

“That’s not pressure to me,” Newton said. “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 your phone. That’s pressure. When you don’t have control of your destiny.”

That was the daily whirlwind the 2015 league MVP remembers being in after being released by the Panthers in March following back-to-back seasons marred by injuries.

“So for me, I’m elated, I’m excited, I’m all that and a bag of chips because I knew that if God didn’t show favor over me, man, who knows where I’d be right now,” he said.

What is a big deal for him, though, will be becoming the first Black player in Patriots history to be the Week 1 starter at quarterback during a time when the country is having a wide-ranging discussion on race.

It was just four years ago that Jacoby Brissett became the first Black quarterback to start for New England in 2016. He started the second game of the season while Brady was serving his four-game suspension for his role in the “Deflategate” scandal. At the time only the Patriots and New York Giants hadn’t started a Black player at quarterback.

So it’s a milestone that isn’t lost on Newton as he prepares to play in his first NFL game since sitting out the final 14 games of the 2019 season with a foot injury.

A lot of eyes will be on him, including from his new teammates who will also be reveling in seeing Newton take the field.

Patriots safety Devin McCourty said it’s a moment that not only has meaning for Newton but is something that could have an even greater impact on a generation of Black kids, including inside his own family.

“As soon as he signed I started thinking about things like that. I think about things like that all the time when I watch football,” McCourty said. “Different times where even (brother Jason McCourty’s) son — he’s 4 now and he looks at different quarterbacks and sees things or I think of other young Black kids and growing up with the mindset of when you were in Pop Warner and things like that, a lot of kids had to be running backs or receivers.

“It was never thought of really to be a quarterback or if he was a quarterback. I feel like you were more told to run. To look up and not only Cam here but look at opening night tonight and (Patrick) Mahomes and DeShaun Watson, it’s special.”

Newton said he was once one of those Black kids who was inspired watching someone who looked like him play the position.

“Man, listen. And I say this proudly. When I grew up in Atlanta, Michael Vick was my hero. Still to this day, Michael Vick is my hero. I’m not too proud to say it,” Newton said. “Vince Young was my hero. Randall Cunningham was a person that I knew, I didn’t get to really see him play growing up, but those types of athletes. Donovan McNabb, African-American quarterbacks, seeing those guys play, it’s the main reason I have this opportunity now.”

It’s why Newton says the journey to get to this point in many ways will make the football part of it easier.

“I just want to remind even myself that I’ve been here before,” he said. “This is my 10th 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 to a lot of impactful, meaningful games. At this particular point in my career I know how to control myself.”

That, and live in the moment.

“That’s my life’s motto,” he said. “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, so it’s an ongoing process but yeah, I’ll be prepared.”

NOTE: The Patriots said that they have placed rookie OL Yodny Cajuste on injured reserve with a knee injury. Cajuste was drafted by New England in the third round (101st overall) of April’s draft out of West Virginia. He sat out practice all week.

___

Follow Kyle Hightower on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/khightower

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, AP Sports - NFL
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Newton feeling thankful, not pressure taking over as Pats QB
Cam Newton says he isn’t feeling pressure as he prepares to succeed Tom Brady as the new Patriots starting quarterback
8:21PM ( 4 minutes ago )
The Latest: Chiefs celebrate Super Bowl title before opener
The Kansas City Chiefs raised their Super Bowl banner and presented the Lombardi Trophy to the roughly 17,000 fans at Arrowhead Stadium before they opened the season against the Houston Texans
8:21PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Royals rookie Singer holds Indians without hit for 7 innings
Kansas City Royals rookie Brady Singer has not allowed the Cleveland Indians a hit through seven innings
8:13PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Chiefs required to keep fan health data
The Kansas City Chiefs will be required to keep a record of fans in suites and whoever purchased blocks of tickets in the stands for their game Thursday night so that contact tracing can be done in the event of an outbreak
7:34PM ( 51 minutes ago )
The Latest: Osaka begins US Open semifinal vs Brady
Naomi Osaka is trying to return to the U.S. Open women’s final, facing first-time Grand Slam semifinalist Jennifer Brady
7:21PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Chiefs, Texans healthy as they play NFL opener
The Chiefs and Texans arrived at their opener Thursday night without any significant health concerns, either because of injuries or the coronavirus
7:17PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
Coach Norvell, Florida State set for opener vs Georgia Tech
Coach Mike Norvell is set make his debut with Florida State and James Blackman as the Seminoles returning starting quarterback
2:44PM ( 5 hours ago )
Forbes: Cowboys most valuable NFL team at $5.7 billion
Forbes estimates the Dallas Cowboys are the NFL’s most valuable franchise at $5.7 billion, the 14th consecutive year they’ve held that distinction
2:00PM ( 6 hours ago )
Chiefs nix headdresses, face paint to start NFL season
Kansas City Chiefs fans who file into Arrowhead Stadium for a masked and socially distanced start to the NFL season won’t be wearing headdresses or face paint amid a nationwide push for racial justice following the police-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis
6:43AM ( 13 hours ago )
AP Online Football
Brady looks at new challenge believing Bucs have an edge
As if there aren’t enough challenges for a 43-year-old quarterback in the NFL, Tom Brady recognizes the uniqueness of 2020
2:42PM ( 1 day ago )
Texans-Chiefs set to kick off NFL season unlike any other
This most unusual NFL season kicks off with the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs facing the Houston Texans before about 17,000 fans at Arrowhead Stadium on Thursday night
2:24PM ( 1 day ago )
Former WWE wrestlers' lawsuit over brain damage is dismissed
A federal appeals court has dismissed a lawsuit filed by 50 former pro wrestlers who claimed World Wrestling Entertainment failed to protect them from repeated head injuries that led to long-term brain damage
12:59PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Sports - NFL
The Latest: Chiefs celebrate Super Bowl title before opener
The Kansas City Chiefs raised their Super Bowl banner and presented the Lombardi Trophy to the roughly 17,000 fans at Arrowhead Stadium before they opened the season against the Houston Texans
8:21PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Royals rookie Singer holds Indians without hit for 7 innings
Kansas City Royals rookie Brady Singer has not allowed the Cleveland Indians a hit through seven innings
8:13PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Return of football renews fears over more virus spread
Fans tailgating outside the stadium where the Kansas City Chiefs play say precautions will keep them safe from the coronavirus as the NFL returns for the first time in months
8:13PM ( 12 minutes ago )
The Latest: Chiefs line up to support social justice causes
The Kansas City Chiefs lined up along the goal line about 30 minutes before kickoff Thursday night in a show of solidarity for social justice initiatives while a video played on the screens in each end zone of Arrowhead Stadium
8:06PM ( 19 minutes ago )
In a year of restrictions, virus changes Sept. 11, too
The coronavirus pandemic is changing commemorations of the Sept. 11 terror attacks
7:59PM ( 26 minutes ago )