Patriots third round draft pick (83rd pick overall) Brandon Tate addresses the media during his conference call on Sunday April 26, 2009.
Q:Were you surprised at all when the Patriots called your name?
BT:Yeah, I was really surprised. It seemed like a long, long wait, but I'm glad I went to the Patriots.
Q:Did they contact you or did you come up here for a visit?
BT:Yeah, I came for a visit. And it was right before they called my name that Bill Belichick called me and I was really excited.
Q:How's your injured knee and do you anticipate being able to participate in training camp?
BT:I'm just really into rehab and we'll see what happens after that.
Q:Which knee was that?
BT:The right knee.
Q:And how did you injure it?
BT:Somebody hit me from the side on a punt return.
Q:In which game?
BT:The Notre Dame game.
Q:Did the Patriots express any interest in using you as a punt and kickoff returner? Obviously you had a lot of success doing that at North Carolina.
BT:Like I said, we'll see what the Patriots want. Whatever they want me to do, I'm going to do it. You all already know what I can do, so whatever they want me to do, I'm willing to do it.
Q:There was a report that you tested positive for marijuana at the combine. Is that true?
BT:I know I had made a mistake, and now that's behind me. I'm just moving forward, getting ready to go to the NFL and play for the Patriots.
Q:Was that something that came up during this draft process—that teams wanted you to explain that?
BT:Like I said, all of that is behind me. Whatever happened with that, it already happened, so I'm moving forward.
Q:Were you concerned that it might affect your draft status?
BT:I knew it probably would, but I was still waiting on that call because I knew somebody would give me a chance. I thank the Patriots for that, so I'm going to come in and I'm willing to work for them.
Q:How happy were you that the call did come eventually?
BT:I was really excited. My family, everybody in the whole house, was just jumping around the whole house like it was rocking.
Q:Where were you when you got the call?
BT:In my mother's house.
Q:Where is that?
BT:Burlington, North Carolina.
Q:Are you looking forward to learning from someone like Randy Moss or Wes Welker?
BT:Yeah. Like I said, I'm [excited] to come here. I know one of them is going to take me under their wing, and whatever they tell me, it's got to be the right thing because they're [each] one of the best. Like I said, I'm glad I'm on a team like this, and I just want to learn to get better.
Q:How familiar are you with the Patriots and Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and Randy Moss?
BT:I was already really familiar with the Patriots—the caliber of their team; they're a championship team. Like I said, Bill Belichick, he gave me a chance, so I'm going to come in and work extra hard for him.
Q:So do you think you'll be ready for mini camp in June and training camp in July?
BT:When I go up there, I'm just going to rehab and whatever happens, happens.
Q:Have you had any setbacks at this point?
BT:I'm still going. I'm still moving forward. Something good came out of it, so I'm still going to keep continuing to work harder and harder.
Q:Are you concerned at all about the injury having an impact on your speed and agility?
BT:No. I'm not really concerned at all because I know what I can do, personally, as a player, so I'm rehabbing and just trying to get back to that state.
Q:Is this the first time you've suffered an injury of this type?