Cam Newton saw where the question was going, and he didn't like it.
WEEI's Jermaine Wiggins asked the New England Patriots quarterback what he thinks of the team's offensive play-calling Monday on "The Greg Hill Show." Newton responded with a passionate defense of his offensive coordinator.
"One thing that's not about to happen, and let me be perfectly clear: You're not about to create any type of division between me and Josh McDaniels," Newton said Monday.
"You're talking to a person to who, number one, respects this opportunity first and foremost. That's talking from Bill Belichick, in regards to Josh McDaniels, obviously Robert Kraft and even Jedd (Fisch). I think would be selfish of me to indirectly point the finger when here's a person who's putting our team in the best situation to win."
Newton took his advocacy for McDaniels one step further, insisting the Patriots would be in an even worse place offensively without him calling plays.
"He's a very passionate person that I would never second-guess his theory no matter what it is," Newton said. "There's been times where as a player you may bail a coach out because of the play that you may make, but more times than not, Josh has bailed the whole team out because of his theory and his in-game adjustments. So, it's a give-and-take."
New England has been remarkably one-dimensional this season, ranking 31st in the NFL in pass attempts per game and first in rushing attempts per game. But you could argue McDaniels' hands are tied with a barren wide receiver group, no serviceable tight ends in the passing game and an erratic QB in Newton who's thrown 10 interceptions to five touchdown passes this season.
The Patriots are on the verge of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008, and their offensive shortcomings are a big reason why. If this team goes down, though, it's apparently going down together.
"I can’t say what’s being said in the fan base. I can only assume," Newton said. "It’s your to probe and pick and I respect that. But at the same time, you’ve got guys in this locker room, including myself, that (are) willing to do whatever it takes to win a football game.
"When you don’t get the outcome that you’re desperately searching for, yeah it hurts, yeah you take it personal, you need time to debrief. But for me to sit up here and put a person that I admire in Josh under the bus and say he should have called four passes? No, I'm not going to do that, man."