Cam Newton became known for his on field celebrations during the Carolina Panthers march to Super Bowl 50, but the quarterback says preparation is what brings him real joy.
"It's all in preparation, folks," Newton told a packed crowd of reporters at the SAP Center on media night ahead of Sunday's NFL title game against the Denver Broncos.
"My father taught me the proper p's of success - proper preparation prevents poor performances," the 26-year-old Newton rattled off by rote. "Those are the words that I live by, especially in big moments."
Newton said there was nothing like seeing preparation pay off.
"My favorite part of preparation would have to be game time," he said.
"When you've looked at something all week, when you've prepared or went over something with the coaches and for it to come and play out like you went over it...that's the ultimate answer for why you study so hard."
Newton said his team mate Luke Kuechly, a Pro Bowl linebacker, was a source of inspiration.
"No moment is too big for him," said Newton. "Speaking on preparation, being around Luke makes me better.
"I haven't been around too many people that I can say their preparation, their play, their skill set brings out the best in me.
"When I see Luke, the work that he puts in, from working out to preparing in the classroom, for it to come out on the field makes a person like me want to be better."
Newton has improved so much that he is considered a big favorite for this season's league most valuable player award, moving his Denver Broncos counterpart Peyton Manning to say the NFL would be in good hands with Cam Newton as the face of the league for the next eight to 10 years.
"Anything that the Sheriff has to say, you can probably ink it in gold," said Newton, an unabashed fan of the 39-year-old Manning, a record five-time MVP.
"It's 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 we'll worry about the rest of the eight to 10 years after that."