[wysifield-embeddedaudio|eid="539171"|type="embeddedaudio"|view_mode="full"]Q: In this day and age with so many tight ends being pass receivers, what kind of pride do you take and how much do you work on your blocking skills?
DA: I really believe that it's a lost art in the game, especially at the tight end positon where, like you said, the league and other teams have gone to more of a receiving tight end. I take pride in it. It's something that I work at daily. I want to be not only the best blocking tight end, but I want to be the best blocker on my team. That takes hard work, it takes attention to detail and really working at my technique.
Q: Where were you when you heard about the trade and what was your reaction?
DA: I was actually at one of Clemson University's football practices. They're in spring ball right now, so I was down there training and observing one of their practices and I got the call. Of course initially, [I was] a bit shocked. I knew something was going to happen. I did not know that I was going to be traded to the New England Patriots, but after the initial shock wore off, then came some excitement and definitely a lot of joy.
Q: When are you coming to town, or are you already in town?
DA: I believe we report sometime later in April. I am in town now just finishing up some things, and then I'm going to get back down to Clemson to finish up training.
Q: What are your thoughts on playing with Rob Gronkowski, and how has your time in Indianapolis playing with Jack Doyle and Coby Fleener prepared you to go into a season where you will split time with another tight end?
DA: I'm extremely excited about joining the ranks with Rob [Gronkowski]. He, of course, is the best tight end in the National Football League, so I think there is a lot that I can learn from him. I have been in situations where I've split time with other tight ends. I'm not sure what my role is going to be, but I'm excited just to get to work and learn from everyone around me.
Q: Have you had any conversations with Coach Bill Belichick or Coach Josh McDaniels yet, and what were those conversations like if so?
DA: I have spoken to both Coach [Bill] Belichick and Coach [Josh] McDaniels and it's just been portraying their vision, their culture; their philosophies on what this team is about. It's really just been refreshing to hear that they're all about working hard and all about winning.
Q: How do you think it will help your game to work with Tom Brady?
DA: Watching Tom [Brady] from afar has been unbelievable. I've always regarded him as one of, if not the best, quarterback in the National Football League. To have the opportunity to work with him and learn from him is an honor. Most guys dream about opportunities just to work with a 'G.O.A.T.', as the term as been thrown around now. I consider the same thing an honor and just look forward to hitting the field and working hard.
Q: You won over a lot of Patriots fans with your social media reaction following the 2014 AFC Championship game between Indianapolis and New England. Why did you feel strongly enough about that to share it on social media?
DA: That situation is in the past and I would much rather just move forward and talk about the present; talk about me joining the New England Patriots, if that's alright.
Q: Along those lines, did you ever think a Colt could get traded to the Patriots?
DA: Reggie Wayne was here for a cup of coffee, so I never thought that a Colt could get traded here [to New England], but I knew that it was possible for Colts to come here. I'm excited to be here, man. It's again been very refreshing meeting everyone in the building and just learning about the culture that makes this organization great.
Q: How do you sum up your time with the Colts?
DA: Oh wow - how do I sum up my time with the Colts? I really feel like my involvement with the Indianapolis organization goes further than what was on the field. It was an amazing time. I think we had some incredible moments, overcame some, just dire obstacles, and had a lot of success during the five years that I was there. I really wish those guys nothing but the best. I'm so thankful to the Irsay family for taking a chance on me. They had already drafted a tight end and decided to take another. I'm so thankful for them to do that. It's one of those places that I'll hold near and dear to my heart for the rest of my life.
Q: When Jack Doyle received his contact extension earlier in the week, did you think a trade might be possible?
DA: No, not at all. When I got word that Jack [Doyle] was re-signing, my initial response was, 'Congrats, Jack.' Jack Doyle is easily one of the greatest teammates I've ever been around and deserved everything, every penny that he earned. I believe that there was room for two tight ends, but Chris [Ballard] had other plans and I'm sure that it's within his plan to rebuild the Colts organization. Fortunately, unfortunately, depending on how you look at it or who you ask, I was able to be traded.
Q: How much are you looking forward to the versatility that the Patriots like to get out of the tight end position?
DA: One thing that I've caught on to early is Coach [Bill] Belichick's saying of, 'The more you can do.' I'm just about winning. I want to win and I understand that the more skills I can provide the offense, then hopefully the more mismatches that can be created for myself and other players. That's what I'm about. I'm excited to be utilized as a football player again and not be confined to any box, but just to be a football player, a tight end.