Oct. 26 (UPI) -- New England Patriots star quarterback Cam Newton believes his starting job could be in jeopardy after he was pulled early in the fourth quarter of Sunday's blowout loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
"The first thing I said to myself coming home was, 'You keep playing games like that, bro, and it's going to be a permanent change,'" Newton said Monday on Boston sports radio WEEI. "You don't need to tell me that for me to understand that. I get it loud and clear."
On Sunday, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said he took Newton out of the game -- with New England trailing by 27 points -- to give second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham additional experience. Belichick also said he's "absolutely" sticking with Newton as his starting signal-caller.
"For any type of competitor, do you feel embarrassed? Yeah," Newton said Monday. "I don't feel offended by what was done. I don't feel offended having this type of conversation. I'm a realist.
"I don't fear my position stability more so than controlling the locker room. Performances like [Sunday] jeopardizes [that]. It's like, 'Oh my God!' Players talk, and that's what's most important to me. Knowing you have your coaches' belief [is good], but my belief is that I want to have the whole facility. ... It doesn't start with no miraculous play. It's a whole body of work that goes into performing on Sunday."
Newton finished Sunday's game against the 49ers with 98 passing yards and three interceptions. In place of Newton, Stidham completed 6 of his 10 pass attempts for 64 yards and a pick.
Later Monday, Belichick -- also speaking with WEEI -- reiterated that he will stick with Newton as the Patriots' starter.
"I think he's our best player there, so again there are other problems offensively," Belichick said. "There are things we need to do better and that is what we're going to work on. I think we have our best players out there. We just have to find a way to be more productive.
"We have been at times, but we certainly weren't [Sunday], and we need to see if we can improve that."
In five games this season, Newton has completed 67.2% of his throws for 969 yards, two touchdowns and seven interceptions. He has added 50 carries for 244 yards and five rushing scores.
The Patriots (2-4) will travel to play the AFC East-leading Buffalo Bills (5-2) on Sunday.