Cam Newton said he is embracing life with the New England Patriots after the former NFL MVP impressed on debut against the Miami Dolphins.
Newton had two rushing touchdowns as the Patriots ushered in the post-Tom Brady era with a 21-11 win over the Dolphins in their season opener on Sunday.
A three-time Pro Bowler, Newton joined the Patriots on a one-year deal following his Carolina Panthers exit to replace legendary quarterback Brady in New England.
Reflecting on his first appearance for the Patriots, which consisted of 75 rushing yards on 15 carries, Newton told reporters: "It was different. It was great for the team to find a way – well, things showed up that we would not have expected, as we knew and things showed up that we did kind of expect.
"So one of the coaching points for the game was to be accessible to in-game adjustments and that's what it pretty much came down to. Getting a win like that, that's not necessarily pretty at times. That's good for the overall team character and I think we've just got to keep building from this."
Newton, who finished 15-of-19 for 155 yards and no interceptions, added: "This is the new normal and I think it's time for everybody, including myself, to realise this is what it's like.
"I think it came full circle today and – for me to just kind of realise that I'm a New England Patriot and I'm just going to embrace this whole moment."
"I'm just so blessed to have this opportunity, man, to, number one, be affiliated with an organisation," he continued. "Knowing that in itself is a blessing. To get a win, that's another added plus.
"But, yet through it all, this has been a strenuous, long process for me, and yet through it all, it's just been gratifying, and I just had such a sense of gratitude to the New England Patriots and to this team, just to give all that I could possibly give and hell or high water, finish today at this particular time with us having, going home with a win."
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick added: "Well Cam's been great for us… he's a very, very unselfish player. He's a great team-mate. He's earned everybody's respect, really, daily. He just continues to do everything that he can to help our team and that's really all you can ask from anyone and he continually does that, puts himself last and puts the team first.
"I think he's done a tremendous job there and I thought he played well today. He hit a lot of passes. He ran the ball well. He led the team. He made some good checks and adjustments, so I thought that he did a good job. There's room for improvement from all of us, so I'm not saying it was the best executed game in the history of football, but we did some good things today in all three phases of the game.
"We're proud of that and we'll go back and work on the things that we need to do to get better, but I thought he did a good job for us."