DE: Yes, sir. I actually was. I was real excited when I saw the Massachusetts number come up on my phone.
Q: What kind of preconceived ideas did you have about the Patriots?
DE: I’ve been watching the Patriots for a long time. I’m pretty sure you guys know some players from Staten Island played there and then Coach Urban Meyer had a lot of players go to the Patriots. It’s a winning team so I’m real excited.
Q: How’s your knee?
Q: Was that a big issue that came up for you through the draft process? How much was that discussed?
DE: It was discussed somewhat but I’m really just very excited to be a Patriot now and just get up there and get to work and learn the system and do whatever the team needs me to do.
Q: Did the team bring you in a for a visit?
DE: Yes they did.
Q: Did they show much interest in you throughout the process?
DE: Yes, me and Coach Belichick at my pro day, we talked a whole lot and got to know each other. He’s a great guy.
Q: Is it fairly common to see him down at Florida? It seems like there’s a pipeline between Florida and Foxborough.
DE: Yes, when I was there, when I was playing at Florida I didn’t really see him a lot but I always knew there were a lot of Florida players there [in New England] and they always said good things about it and they were really excited to go there. I’m really excited.
Q: Were you surprised to be picked in the first round?
DE: I wasn’t honestly paying attention to it, to what was going on, to what was said. I was just waiting for my dream to come true.
Q: What do you think about getting a chance to play next to
DE: It’s going to be a great experience, to get to learn from an old guy, a veteran that’s real good. He’ll teach me some stuff. It’s going to be real exciting to learn from him.
Q: Did you think too much was made about your comments at the combine about not watching football?
Q: What were your emotions after suffering your second ACL injury?
DE: Just to get back healthy. I just wanted to get back healthy and really just, as I said, just try to live my dream and wait for this phone call, which happened. I’m excited to get up there.
Q: Did you give consideration to getting a medical redshirt and staying in Florida?
DE: I have a one year-old son so I just wanted to really get a move on and try to get back healthy and continue my life.
Q: How good do you feel about your knees? Are you at 100 percent now?
DE: I’m just working to get back healthy and I’m just ready to get up there.
Q: So you’re not 100 percent?
DE: I didn’t say that. I’m just working to get back healthy, that’s all. I’m just working. I just want to work, just get better, learn a new playbook and learn a new system.
Q: Can you compare your game to someone who is in the league now?
DE: I just try to be the best who I am, just be me on the field. Play with my characteristics and really just be me.
Q: How does being a father change your approach on and off the field?
DE: Every decision I make is not for me, it affects my son in every which way. On the field, it didn’t really change much because my love for football has always been and always will be there. It just matured me as a man.
Q: How much contact did you have with the Patriots throughout the pre-draft process?
DE: I saw them at the combine and at my pro day and then a visit.
Q: What is your son’s name?
Q: Did anyone come to work you out in Florida?
DE: No they didn’t.