New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton says from Day 1 he wanted to make it clear to the team that he was all about hard working and doing everything he can to help the team win. Newton, the 2011 No. 1 overall pick, changed teams for the first time in his career this offseason when he split with the Carolina Panthers and signed with the Patriots.
The Panthers moved on from Newton early in the offseason and, after months of trying to find a new home, Newton officially signed with the Patriots in early-July. "A person might kind of sense it was almost expected, but not from me, though," Newton said, per ESPN.
"Ever since I first spoke to any personnel with the team, I wanted to make sure they understood my drive and understand I'm not taking this opportunity for granted -- whether it's showing up as early as I do show up, or leave as late as I leave, I know people know that my heart is in the right place.
"As far as when it comes to this team, there is nothing I wouldn't do besides put their best interest at heart. To be named a captain was just something that was just rewarding to hear, but at the same time, now the real work kind of starts for me."
Newton now wants to be a true leader
Tom Brady, who helped the Patriots win six Super Bowls, left the team after two decades to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He is set to be replaced by 2015 NFL MVP Newton as the starting quarterback for the Patriots.
"Just to be honest with you, I don't think a person of my caliber always gets his fair share of leadership [acknowledgment]. I think coming to a team that has so much respect around the league and the sports world, to be a captain for them, I think it kind of gives me validation to a degree.
But nothing that I've done this year has been any different that I've done from years past. I think that's why this is not the first time I've been a captain," Newton said. "Whether it's here, or whether it's anywhere else, I think I've always grown and matured over the years and took a little bit what makes this person great and applied it to myself, and put my own kind of sizzle to it to make it mine. But I haven't changed."