The Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos took part in Monday's "Opening Night" event, which is the re-branded version of Media Day. The Broncos went first, leaving the Panthers in the late 10-11pm ET hour. Fortunately we have a whole host of transcripts from the event. We'll post all of them over the course of the day, but we might as well start with the big name. Cam Newton spoke about everything from preparing for games, to how the car crash changed his perspective, to the player of linebacker Luke Kuechly. Here's the full transcript from Opening Night.
(on being misunderstood or criticized by the media) "The truth of the matter is when they see more of me, I need not have to explain myself. So I feel as if the more people see and, what am I trying to say, the more that they get me, it becomes easier to digest."
(on who Cam Newton is) "A Super Bowl quarterback, a Heisman Trophy winner, a first-round pick, but more importantly God's servant. I'm in this position, I scratch my head sometimes and I ask myself, ‘Why am I in this position?' A lot of answers that I come back with is, ‘Why not?' When I look at a lot of people where I'm from, and as you mentioned College Park, they don't have a voice, because when the people that they look up to are the rappers, are this type of person, are that type of person, not even people necessarily from the Bankhead in Atlanta terms, but also people that's from Buckhead that can make it from that area and be that microphone to so many different people."
(on if the journey is everything he thought it would be) "At times, no, but I think you have to take the good with the bad. I wouldn't change anything from it and I just thank God for the pinnacle that he gave me and hopefully I do right with it."
(on how the car crash a year ago changed his perspective) "That puts everything into perspective. I was going to bring little Chosen with me, but I didn't think he could walk down the steps yet. He's already walking if you ain't know. He's a month old. With me going through the car accident, everything is just, I'm just blessed, man. Sometimes you get asked questions and you're speechless. You're just here in this moment, because I'm so happy to one, walk away from it, but also see so much blessings be rained upon me."
(on if he his maturity on the field is the result of more work in the film room) "I can't necessarily take that type of credit, because I think that would be a crusade answer, but yet I think it's more understanding right now. I get it at some points, I do. At some, I still need to understand more, but yeah, I'm willing to correct my wrongs and say I'm not perfect."
(on the pants he wore on the flight to the Super Bowl) "It's Super Bowl 50. The mantra...or the colors are black and gold. The black and gold attire that I had in my closet was extremely limited, so when I looked at my pants and I said these are black and gold, these shoes are black and gold, to tie along with the whole Super Bowl 50 black and gold."
(on the pressure to win after wearing those pants) "Every time I put on an attire, every single morning of my life, it's a must-win attire, so it's nothing different."
(on how he trains to be a great quarterback ) "Just like you train to be great in anything else, you have to put your mind to it. First off, you've got to enjoy doing it and contrary to popular belief, you have to be enthused about doing it. If you've got those ingredients, you'll be alright."
(on what he does for the people of his hometown near Atlanta) "I'm just trying to give them hope. I'm just trying to give them hope, I promise you. It's nothing personal to the people that don't understand, but more importantly, it's for them to see my mistakes. I'm in a position where a lot of people critique every single thing that I do, but yet I'll be the first to tell you that I've made mistakes and whether you're from Atlanta, whether you're from California, whether you're from Georgia, Florida, wherever you're from, you can be international, you could see that a person made mistakes but yet didn't linger on those mistakes, and I still had dreams and aspirations and still conquered them all."
(on Broncos QB Peyton Manning calling him the future face of the NFL) "Anything that the sheriff has to say, you can probably ink it in gold. It's just a tremendous honor to be even mentioned and affiliated with the face of the league, but yet I think I have bigger fish to fry on Sunday, and then we'll worry about the rest of the eight to 10 years after that."
(on why he is so comfortable in his own skin) "A lot of guys that I've played with, we're all comfortable. We believe in ourselves and believe in coaching and we believe in our preparation, so by the time you guys see us on Sundays, it's just rehearsal."
(on the MVP award) "Obviously, it's a prestigious award, but I'm not dwelling on that right now mentally. I think my mind is elsewhere, still in the preparation of a game week. That's a tremendous honor."
(on if preparing for the Super Bowl is different than any other game) "The preparation is not different at all. It's just the media. The media frenzy is probably bigger than I expected, but yet it's the Super Bowl. It's the most impactful game of all of sports, as you can see."
(on his favorite part of preparing for games) "I think that my favorite part of preparation would have to be game time when you've looked at something all week, when you prepared or you went over something with your coaches and for it to come and lay out, or play out like you went over it in the meeting room and for you to have the answer, I think that's the ultimate answer for why you study so hard, why you stay countless hours, why you prepare so much."
(on his Super Bowl dream growing up ) "Just to play in the Super Bowl, one, and to win a Super Bowl. That was the big dream of mine. I remember when the Super Bowl was in Atlanta and Steve McNair was there, one of my idols growing up, one of many idols. It just goes to show you that this is a game of inches. He threw the slant at the end and reached out and didn't get it, one of my all-time favorite Super Bowl moments. Yet that just makes you prepare even more so that you'll be on the winning side of the pendulum."
(on the team effort it took to get to the Super Bowl) "I don't know. I just think it's a lot of supporting cast that went into it. I don't want to take all the credit, because it wasn't just me that made impacts on the field. A lot of guys are getting overlooked and I couldn't, I wouldn't be in this position, we wouldn't be in this position, if it didn't take a collective group of men coming together to be not one, humble, but also coming together and work as a team for another person's glory at times, and also for the team's success overall."
(on why people dislike his dancing and celebrations) "I don't know, but I guess you'll have to get used to it, because I don't plan on changing."
(on why he named his son Chosen) "When I was thinking of names, I wanted to have a strong, masculine name. It's different and I don't know any people that would name their child Chosen, and that was the main reason why I named my son Chosen, just because he will be unique. Whether he plays sports or not, he will always be in the comfort of doing something that he wants to do. A lot of people may think, ‘Oh, man, you named him Chosen because he's going to be --'. No, it's not like that. It's to make him know that he's unique in every sense of the word and I want him to be proud of that."
(on the play of linebacker Luke Kuechly) "Luke is a very vital part of this team. As you can see, no moment is too big for him and when I speak on preparation, I'm speaking on a person that I look up to and being around Luke makes me better. I haven't been around a lot of people that I can say their preparation, their play, their skillset brings the best out of me, and when I see Luke and the work that he puts in from working out to preparing in the classroom and for it to come out on the field, it makes a person like me want to be better."
(on why no moment is too big for him) "It's all in preparation. My father always taught me the proper Ps of success: Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performances. That's still the words that I live by, especially in big moments."
(on being compared to Broncos QB Peyton Manning) "Anytime you get compared to Peyton Manning, you must be doing something right. I take it for what it's worth."