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Donald Brown Press Conference Transcript - 4/21/2016

New England Patriots RB Donald Brown addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on Thursday, April 21, 2016.

Q: Does it feel like a bit of a, 'Welcome home' to this region a little bit?

DB: Yeah, it's nice to get back on the Northeast so I'm looking forward to the opportunity. I'm really excited about being here, being a part of this great organization, so I'm very blessed to be in this position that I am.

Q: What appealed to you about the Patriots as you were going through the free agency process?

DB: Everything. The culture that you see from a distance, what you've heard from previous players, the chance to be back by family, so it's a win-win from all points of life.

Q: What is your initial reaction as you get involved in the program?

DB: [I'm] just excited; excited for a new opportunity and a place to be a part of a great organization.

Q: Did you have any contact with the organization prior to being drafted in 2009 or perhaps earlier in free agency before you joined San Diego?

DB: It's hard to say. I mean back in 2009 I felt like every team, they want to get to know you. That's just the nature of the business. During free agency with San Diego I can't really remember. There were still a number of teams but this was the opportunity that presented itself, and a great opportunity at that, so I definitely want to take advantage of it.

Q: Have you tapped any of your sources that have played here such as Danny Woodhead?

DB: Of course, you have to. It was an absolute privilege playing with Danny. [He's] just a phenomenal guy and he spoke very highly of this program so I knew it was a good situation.

Q: Did he just sort of give you a warning about what you were getting into?

DB: Right, exactly. You're going to be treated as a professional, they expect you to be a professional, and there is a very high expectation there, and that's what I'm here for and that's what I'm all about.

Q: What are your expectations for yourself here in New England?

DB: Just to be better than I was yesterday, work as hard as I can, and help contribute to this team as much as possible – offensively, special teams – in any way that I can, be the best teammate that I can be, be accountable to the rest of my teammates and work hard.

Q: Did coming in as a rookie and playing with a guy like Peyton Manning have a positive effect on you as a young player?

DB: No doubt about it. I mean I've had the good fortune of playing with phenomenal quarterbacks; Peyton [Manning], Andrew Luck, Phillip Rivers, now Tom Brady. I mean I'm playing with the best of the best. They all demand a lot and that's what I'm all about. I'm here to help any way that I can and I love to play at a high level and that's what we're all here for, to play at a high level, compete at a high level and win a lot of games.

Q: What have been your impressions of your teammates thus far?

DB: Just really good guys, guys that want to be here. You can see that. [They're] guys that are eager to work hard and so it's a great culture and environment that you want to be a part of.

Q: Have you noticed a higher level of expectations here yet?

DB: Sure, but that doesn't change my mind set. I have high expectations for myself. It doesn't change no matter where I'm at or no matter what my role is. I'm my biggest critic so I set the bar high for myself.

Q: Has there been a level of frustration the past few years with your production diminishing out in San Diego?

DB: No, I mean was it frustrating at some point? Whether it's injuries, different situations like that, but that's in the past. I'm worried about today being the best player that I can, the best teammate that I can be, and again my role will be basically, predicting – or not predicting, [but] my role will be a byproduct of how I work so as long as I work hard, get in the playbook, expedite this learning curve, everything will take care of itself.

Q: Do you take a lot of pride in your blocking and blitz-pickup ability?

DB: I take pride in everything I do. You can't be one dimensional in this league. You can't be just a pass blocker. You can't be just a short-yardage guy. You can't be just a pass catcher. There are injuries in this game. I've been a part of games where every running back has gone down. We had to put a tight end in at running back so you have to be ready for any and every situation possible, but I take pride in everything I do when I step on that football field.

Q: Is that something you've had to work at over time?

DB: It is, and when you work with elite level quarterbacks you are going to throw the ball so you need to protect them. In college it's a lot different. They hand you the ball every time you're on the field. Just having that past experience and the importance of pass protection, I mean it's important. That's my number one job, to keep the quarterback on his feet and keep him clean.

Q: Have you seen any commonalities amongst the great quarterbacks you've been able to work with thus far in your career?

DB: Just attention to detail, their work ethic, their football IQ, the passion, the love they have for the game, and just in my brief meeting with Tom [Brady] it's the same. [He] loves the game, a hard worker, diligent, and that's what makes him great.

Q: Your former teammate Melvin Gordon said that he wasn't satisfied with his performance last year. What is your reaction to that?

DB: I'm not worried about last year. I wish him all the best.

Q: Was it difficult to try and split the load last year amongst the group of running backs you had in San Diego?

DB: That's what it's all about, is making the most of the opportunity when it presents itself, so I'm going to work hard in every phase of this game and be ready for any and every opportunity that presents itself and make the most of it. That's my mindset.

Q: Were there any current Patriots that you contacted during your free agency process?

DB: No, I mainly just relied on Danny [Woodhead], which is a good friend of mine and we talked briefly but I didn't really need to pick his brain that much. I knew what I was getting into and I was excited about the opportunity.

Q: As a New Jersey guy did you ever consider attending Rutgers?

DB: No.

Q: There are a lot of Rutgers guys on this football team.

DB: There are, there are. And a lot of my old buddies growing up in New Jersey, some of them played at Rutgers, so I've seen a lot of these faces for a long time. Had some great memories and some great games but yeah, that was always a fun game to kind of look forward to.

Q: I'm curious as to what your thoughts are on Chargers Running Backs Coach Ollie Wilson whom you worked with in your time in San Diego?

DB: Great, phenomenal guy. I really enjoyed my time working with him. An east coast guy at heart for sure and it was definitely an honor and a privilege to work with Ollie Wilson. I really enjoyed my time working with him.

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