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Unfiltered Notebook 12/17: Newton re-energized for divisional clash

With some extra time to recover and reset, Cam Newton and the Patriots are preparing for an improved Dolphins defense.


A week after posting their lowest yardage and points output of the season against the Rams, the Patriots offense will get another tough test from Brian Flores' Dolphins defense that ranks second in points allowed, first on third down and tied for first in takeaways.

"Miami [is] a very opportunistic team that leads the league in takeaways," said Cam Newton on Thursday evening. "They try to get the quarterback in a bind, not necessarily making mistakes but second-guessing and they challenge the offensive group as a whole to execute.

"I think if we have our mentality set to keep getting better, stay on the assertive side of making plays and extending drives I think we'll be good to go."

Newton and the Patriots offense had perhaps their best game of the season in the opener but Miami will be better prepared this time around.

"They've got a lot of players you may think have the same role but they do not," said Newton. "It's good that we played them early but it wasn't a good thing we played them because they're a completely different team on film and they're playing with a lot of confidence."

One part of solving Flores' defensive puzzle could be N'Keal Harry, who has five catches in the last two games and is getting back on track and showing progress in the offense and in big moments.

"He's getting better, he's growing," said Newton of Harry, adding of his impressive contested catch against the Rams, "It's very promising to see a guy like N'Keal make a play like that and we're gonna need more of that moving forward."

Coming off a long week after a Thursday game, it was a chance for the team to reset with a couple extra days off after the California road trip. Newton used the days to lock in for the start of the final stretch run through the AFC East.

"I think we did need those days, not only physically but mentally too," said Newton. "Used that time to get away from football, tap into the mental side and re-energize yourself for the things that you're going to get ready for here in the next couple weeks."

Webex Quotes of Note

Jakobi Meyers on who he looked up to when he arrived in New England:

"When I got here it was definitely Jules for sure. That's the best player on your team and you want to be a good player in the NFL, why not follow the standard that was set by the main guy? It's pretty easy for me to see what him and Slater do pretty much every day and just try to incorporate it into my own NFL lifestyle.

Josh Uche on returning home to play in Miami:

"It's great to go back home and have the opportunity to play in front of my family and my friends. Definitely growing up aside from the [Miami] Hurricanes the first real NFL game I went it was actually a Dolphins game. To be back in that stadium it's gonna be a great feeling."

N'Keal Harry on how Cam Newton has helped him this year:

"He's been really gone out of his way and really made a conscious effort to make sure that he's doing everything he can to help me. Just kind of mentoring me throughout this whole season. He's been a huge help to me at this point."

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