DR: You know, first off, I want to say I’m very excited to be a part of the New England Patriots. But to answer your question, it’s basically about just winning, man. I weighed my options and I just wanted to win and I felt like this was the right place for me; to be a part of the Patriots organization.
Q: How excited are you to be playing for Coach Bill Belichick? In the past you called him a jerk, have you had to talk things over with him?
DR: Yeah, me and Bill, we had a conversation about it and it’s in the past. We’re both moving forward and we’re excited about working together and trying to win games. I think that’s the biggest goal here, is to win games.
Q: Can you provide some of the backstory as to how all this developed? It seemed to come together pretty quickly, is that the vibe that you got?
DR: We had to weigh our options. It was a lot of stuff going on after I got released, teams calling and we had to weigh our options. Me and my agents had to weigh our options. We felt like New England was the best place. They’re a winning program, they’re a winning organization and we wanted to be a part of it. I know the New England Patriots very well from playing against them when I was a Jet and we just felt like this is the right situation for me. Everything fell into place.
Q: What kind of impression did the joint practices between the Buccaneers and Patriots in Foxborough last year during training camp make on you?
DR: It was really exciting for me. I was rehabbing my knee but at the same time I got to see how New England really operates, how Coach Belichick runs the organization as a head coach. I was very excited and you can kind of see, even during training camp when we were up here, those guys are very disciplined in what they do. They’re a veteran team. They’re a playoff caliber team. They’re a very smart team. I did collect those things when I was up here. I really paid attention to those scenarios and really liked them.
Q: What is your thought process on the strength of the Patriots secondary and how that might help the defensive line?
DR: As of right now, I’m just trying to focus on being a Patriot right now. Everything has happened so fast over the last couple days, so I’m still trying to soak everything in. I know we’ve got Brandon [Browner], I know we’ve got [Devin] McCourty and
Q: Can you share some of your impressions of the facility and what you have done today there?
DR: Basically today was a tour, just getting acclimated to the organization and meeting new faces. I’m still continuing to do my tour so I’m not finished with my tour yet. I have to finish that up. I have to meet a strength coach and some more important people in the building. So, I’m just still going through it and I’m trying to soak everything in and trying to enjoy my time.
Q: Have you had a chance to communicate with
DR: I’m not going to get into the details of what me and Tom talked about but he did reach out this morning. It was a great conversation but I can’t speak on the details.
Q: So this would make you the second-best cornerback from Aliquippa, Penn., in Patriots history? I know you and Ty Law are close. What advice did he give you and how much did you seek from him during the process of getting to make the decision about the Patriots?
DR: Yeah. Ty has been a mentor through my whole life. He’s a very close friend to my family. We had a conversation. It is not about the situation I’m in at hand, but I talk to Ty all the time – about life and football. I can’t get into details of even what me and him talk about. I’m just happy that he was there, he’s on my side and if I can bounce questions off of him and ask him certain things because he has a lot of experience then that’s what I can do. Ty’s always there in my corner to help me whether it’s football or life. I thank Ty for that. I’m sure he’s not listening, he’s not on the call but I’ll tell him that later.
Q: When you were considering your options, did you consider the fact that you’ll get to see your first team, the New York Jets, twice a year? What are some of the emotions with facing them?
DR: No, that was never the factor. My thing is all about winning. I want to win. What better organization – the New England Patriots – to be a part of that? If you look at their track record, New England has won year-in and year-out or been to the playoffs, had playoff berths. Right now in my career, I think this is great – to team up with Tom Brady and Coach Belichick and the New England Patriots team and help them win games. That’s what I’m here for. I’m here to win games and play hard-nosed football.
Q: Did you feel like you were 100 percent back last year and how is your knee now?
DR: It was a long process. I did finish all 16 games. I was slow and maybe sluggish in the beginning of the season but week to week, I got stronger and stronger. Toward the end, I probably felt my best as a football player. That’s a thing where it took some time and I thank [the] Tampa Bay Buccaneers for everything they did to help me with my rehab throughout the course of the year. It was a big process to get through that and fight through it but right now I feel great. I’m just ready to play ball.
Q: What were some of the other teams that were in the picture for you when you were going through this process?
DR: Man, it was, I’ll tell you, it was 26 teams at least. It was a lot of teams. There were a lot of teams that, to be exact, it was around 26. It was a long process. I mean, you have to understand, everything just happened so fast with my release from Tampa Bay and teams calling. I mean, I was surprised how many teams called and wanted to acquire me. It was a long process and it took a number of days and a lot of thinking about where do I want to go or where do I want to be. I felt like New England was the best place for me.