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Testy Bill Belichick Defends Cam Newton: 'Cam's Our Quarterback'

By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) -- The Patriots suffered a demoralizing defeat on Thursday night football, losing 24-3 to the Rams. After the loss, head coach Bill Belichick was in no mood to field questions about whether he'd be making a change at starting quarterback.

After a brief opening statement, Belichick's postgame video press conference began with a straightforward question from ESPN's Mike Reiss, who asked if the Patriots would be making a change at starting quarterback from Cam Newton to Jarrett Stidham.

"Yeah, great question, Mike. Really, I'm glad you asked that," Belichick shot back.

The coach added: "Cam's our quarterback."

Belichick was then asked a follow-up question by The Boston Globe's Ben Volin, who pressed for an answer as to why the Patriots still believe in Newton.

"He's our quarterback," Belichick said. "I think I just answered that one, Ben."

When pressed further as to whether or not he believes the Patriots can win games with a passing attack that has produced 150 or fewer yards six times, Belichick didn't pinpoint that problem on the quarterback position alone.

"Yeah, we didn't do anything well enough to win tonight," Belichick said. "So we've all got to do a better job."

Newton was underwhelming for the Patriots on Thursday, completing nine of 16 passes for 119 yards and no touchdowns. He also threw a back-breaking pick-six on a screen pass intended for Damien Harris, a miscue which put the Rams up 17-0 early in the second quarter. Newton also took four sacks while rushing for just 16 yards on seven carries, including a loss of two on a fourth-and-2 option run in the middle of the second quarter.

Stidham entered the game for Newton in the fourth quarter and completed five of his seven passes for 27 yards. Stidham hasn't exactly shined in his limited playing time, as he entered the night having completed 13 of his 26 passes for 185 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions.

"Jarett's worked hard to try to take advantage of his opportunities," Belichick said.

During his own postgame press conference, Newton was asked if he has any concerns about his status as the Patriots' starting quarterback.

"That's not my call," Newton said. "I'm just doing what I'm asked. I just have to still going into each and every week with the mentality of getting better, and that's what I plan on doing."

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