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Derek Rivers Press Conference Transcript 5/4

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Q: What is your reaction to being in Gillette Stadium for the first time?

DR: Man, to God be the glory. It's awesome. I was actually born in Augusta [Maine], so being back in this area, my mom and that side of the family is ecstatic. She went to school at Northeastern, so they're huge Patriots fans. I know all my family and my friends back home, they're excited. Just to be in this stadium, it's an overwhelming feeling.

Q: How did playing for Bo Pelini prepare you for the NFL?

DR: Awesome, man. He's an NFL-caliber coach. I mean, he started off in the league, so everything we did at Youngstown prepared me for this moment here. I learned so much from Coach Bo and just culture and doing all the little things right. I mean, I credit Bo for a lot of my successes.

Q: What is your favorite part of playing the defensive end position?

DR: I love to pass rush. That's my favorite thing is getting after the quarterback. I definitely bring that, along with accountability and work ethic.

Q: When you walk into Gillette Stadium, what's going through your mind?

DR: Man, I'm here. The road to get here is over with. Now, it's to focus on winning another Super Bowl.

Q: What do you think is going to be the biggest adjustment for you?

DR: Honestly, just transitioning to the new schedule – getting off of a college schedule, getting into a professional schedule – and just learning the ins and outs, hopefully learning from all the vets and just learning what they do in the offseasons and how they approach it.

Q: What does the "Patriot way" mean to you?

DR: It's all culture. It's a culture and it's a mindset. I think they definitely bring that. That's what "Patriots' way" means – just blue-collar hard work. We're going to get after it each and every day. We're going to go hard. That's what Bo brought – that same type of culture, that same type of attitude.

Q: Rather than the drafted players, have you met any of your teammates yet?

DR: Just these guys here. I haven't gotten to meet any of the guys that were on the team previously, so I'm excited to meet those guys, as well.

Q: What have you been told to expect in your first few days with the team?

DR: Honestly, just have your mind, your body right and get ready to go.

Q: What has the week since you were drafted been like for you?

DR: Just like I said, just get my mind, my body right, focusing on getting my cardio up and just being mentally and physically prepared to [withstand] anything.

Q: Is there any anxiety or pressure coming into an organization that just won a Super Bowl?

DR: I'd definitely say not anxiety but being eager. I definitely have a sense of eagerness over me. Coming to this organization, I mean, it makes you want to work harder. That's what I feel. I'm just ready to get things going. I mean the past couple weeks, we've been training for combine, this, and now it's back to football.

Q: How did your family react when you were drafted by the Patriots?

DR: My mom lost her mind. She was so excited, and everybody on that side of the family was excited. My friends and family, they were all excited, just coming to this type of – I mean, it's a first-class organization. I couldn't ask for anything better.

Q: Did your phone ring off the hook after you were drafted?

DR: It did. It did, but I definitely waited until the next day before answering any messages or anything.

Q: What do you think the biggest hurdle will be for you coming here?

DR: I'd say the biggest hurdle is just, Coach Bo told me the game speed is a lot different. As far as once I get adjusted to the game speed and the tempo, everything should be smooth.

Q: What did you discuss with Robert Kraft when walking out to the field today?

DR: Mr. Kraft is an awesome dude. I love him to death. [He is] real laid-back. I mean, we were just laughing and joking. He thinks we can take on the Celtics as far as like everybody he brought in with our height.

Q: What will it be like for you when you first meet Tom Brady?

DR: I'm going to be starstruck, I'm not going to lie. I got to meet Luke Kuechly earlier in the year in Cincinnati, and I was starstruck then, so I can only imagine what it's going to be like when I meet Brady. It will be crazy.

Q: Do you plan to add any weight or are you comfortable with where you are now?

DR: I'm going to do whatever the coaches want me to do. If I need to gain weight, I'll feel comfortable gaining weight. If they want me to stay where I'm at, I'll stay where I'm at.

Q: Do you weigh around 248 pounds now?

DR: I'm probably 250, 252 right now.

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