New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton acknowledged that he is aware that he won't finish the season as the team's starting quarterback if he keeps performing on the way he has performed over the last few weeks.
The Patriots entered their Week 7 game as the slight favorites but ended up getting demolished by the San Francisco 49ers 33-6 at Gillette Stadium. Newton went 9-of-15 for 98 yards against the 49ers, had zero touchdowns and three interceptions.
"The first thing I said to myself coming home was, 'You keep playing games like that, bro, and it's going to be a permanent change,'" Newton said Monday morning on Boston sports radio WEEI, as quoted on ESPN.
"You don't need to tell me that for me to understand that. I get it loud and clear."
Newton admits he feels embarrassed
After starting the season 2-1, the Patriots lost three in a row and now stand at 2-4.
"For any type of competitor, do you feel embarrassed? Yeah," Newton said Monday during the radio interview. "I don't feel offended by what was done. I don't feel offended having this type of conversation.
I'm a realist." Patriots coach Bill Belichick took Newton out of the game but later claimed that it was only to give sophomore quarterback Jarrett Stidham some experience. Coach Belichick underlined that going forward Newton remains the team's starting quarterback.
"I don't fear my position stability more so than controlling the locker room. Performances like yesterday jeopardizes [that]. It's like, 'Oh my God!' Players talk, and that's what's most important to me.
Knowing you have your coaches' belief [is good], but my belief is that I want to have the whole facility. ... It doesn't start with no miraculous play. It's a whole body of work that goes into performing on Sunday."
When asked about being pulled out of the game, Newton said there were no hard feelings. "I'm coachable," Newton said. "I didn't want to put up a [fight]. How bad would that have been? 'No, I'm not coming [out]!' He came and said, 'Stidham is finishing' and I agreed.
"Whatever type of way we have to motivate ourselves, I'm honest with myself. That leaves no type of miscommunication with others. When the change happened, I'm stuck on the sideline listening to plays and saying to myself, 'Listen, is this really how you want to do things?' Until you make that step to get better, then that's what it's going to be."