Cam Newton met with the media on Christmas Eve as the Patriots continued preparations for the Buffalo Bills. Despite falling out of the playoff race, the quarterback continues to push and try to get better every day.
"I'm a person who tries to find a lesson in every situation in life whether good or bad," said Newton. "I'm just grateful to have this opportunity to play the game that I love and just to be around a solid group of men."
Notably absent from practice was Julian Edelman, who was placed on Injured Reserve on Halloween and briefly made an appearance at last week's practices, opening the possibility of potential return. But after the loss to the Dolphins, it appears Edelman's season might be over.
Newton was effusive in his praise of the receiver. Despite having their season together limited to just six games, they did connect for Edelman's career-best eight catches for 179 yards against the Seahawks.
"I love everything about Julian Edelman," said Newton. "Highway 11, he's a person that brings such a dynamic mental edge to this game. A grinder, as he calls himself.
"He's a hard worker, great teammate, person that you know that you can rely on. You don't get to see that without being in these walls each and every day."
On Monday night, the Patriots will face a rematch with the Bills, after New England almost pulled off the road upset earlier this season. The Pats played the Bills tough then, and though there are reduced stakes now, Newton felt the Patriots offense knew what they'd have to do to avoid handing Buffalo their 12th win of the season.
"We just have to be prepared for their scheme and what they're trying to do," said Newton. "Make sure we dictate to them and not let them dictate to us because we've seen on film multiple times where they bear down and put the onus on the offense and dare them to beat you.
"We have to stay on schedule offensively, not only moving the ball but actually executing even more in the red zone and actually scoring touchdowns. We can't just settle for field goals, we have to make sure that we maximize our scoring opportunities."
There are but two games left for the 2020 Patriots, but their focus remains the same.
"We don't have a choice," said Newton. "We just wanna create great habits, not only on the football field but in life and we started something and we just got to finish it. And that's what we plan on doing."