QB Cam Newton: "I let this team down and I just got to be better"

Quarterback Cam Newton addresses the media following Carolina's 20-19 loss to Detroit.

On having a lot of time to throw on the two-point conversion: “I’ve got to make the play.”

On Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera choosing to go for two: “I kind of expected it. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. He trusted in me. I’ve got to uphold my end of the bargain and I didn’t do that. I let this team down and I just got to be better. I think it’s just a perfect indication of guys taking turns making mistakes. And that’s unacceptable with the caliber team that we are, with the caliber team we know we can be, the caliber team that we need to be, it’s just unacceptable. Perfect example, the two point conversion, I’ve got to make that play. Other times in the game, another person makes a mistake. We’re better than that and it’s just a lack of focus. It was a good opportunity for us to create some cushion in the division and get a much needed road win and we’ve just been so far gone, I feel like on the road, we just got to be better.”

On his decision to keep throwing to WR Devin Funchess: “That’s where the defense kind of indicated me to go. I don’t have no picks, I don’t have no favorites. I don’t play buddy ball on the field. Wherever the defense tells me to go as I make my reads, that’s where I go. ‘Fun’ is a good player, just like any other player on this team and it’s my job to get him the football.”

On what it does to build a player’s confidence to continue to target him: “Whatever the defense tells me to do with my reads going throughout the week, that’s what I’m supposed to do. And it’s my job to put the ball in position, and that’s what it was.”

On how surprised he was to see some of the mistakes today: “It happens. It happens. This game wasn’t won or lost in the last play of the game or the first play of the game. It was just a buildup of things. We could’ve put ourselves in position to win, we didn’t do it. I’m not here to point the blame. Things happen. It’s time for us to move on and get ready for our next opponent. Of course, it was a lot of things that I wish I could’ve had back from that game, but we play a game where you’ve got 11 guys that’s getting paid and want it just as much as the next guy. We just got the worst of the draw and we just got to go back, have a great week of practice and get ready for our next opponent.”

On what he was saying to K Graham Gano on the sideline: “I just didn’t want him to—a lot of times we can kind of overthink things, and I kind of figured this game was going to come down to a kick. And I just wanted him to keep his confidence up. Graham, just like any other player on this team has a lot of confidence. And when you see that exuberance, it’s contagious. And when we go in the tank, personally, as a team, it shows. And I just wanted to tell him, and everybody else, that wasn’t the only conversation that I had. I had it with numerous players. I just wanted to focus in, and just let everyone know that we just need to get our confidence going and create our own type of fate because when you’ve got a game like this—when a team is as balanced as it was today, running the football and throwing the football, as an offense you’ve just got to be patient and take what they give us, and do what we’re supposed to do.”