Q: When did you first get the sense that the Patriots were interested in you?
ER: In my contact with the Patriots I had only spoken to them once at [my] pro day, but at the end of the day I'm excited to be a part of the organization. It's a dream come true.
Q: How were the attributes of hard work and leadership instilled in you?
ER: Well, just growing up my family was just a strong family. My dad, he was an Army guy so we lived in a very structured household. He wasn't too strict but at the same time we always want to be our own leaders. My dad went by the saying of 'Don't be a follower, be a leader', and I think that's what comes in on the field for me. I know with the New England Patriots organization that you see a lot of players that are leaders on the field and I'm just glad and I'm blessed to be a part of the organization.
Q: What do you feel your strengths are as a player and have you been told you need to work on anything specific?
ER: I feel that I have strengths and weaknesses and every day I just practice on making all of those strengths and weaknesses better and that's all that I can do. Joining the New England Patriots with their great coaching staff, I know they will definitely fix it and also make the strengths better.
Q: How important was the coaching change for you at Houston and how did that help you individually?
ER: That staff in Houston was a great staff that brought me in and they definitely came in, and not just me, all our players they developed, it just shows in these many blessings. You just see that if you're a clean slate guy and you're a practice first [player] and what not then at the end of the day you'll get an opportunity, and I'm just blessed and I'm glad to be a New England Patriot.
Q: Is it true that you went to one of your coaches and asked him what you had to do to in order to realize your dream of playing in the NFL?
ER: Well my coaches just told me, I remember that conversation, and my coaches they just told me to make sure that I'm the same guy and don't put myself in a position that I can mess up a dream. That's what I did. I definitely attacked the practice field every day and I just was trying to be a great leader and a great teammate for the University of Houston. Like I said, I'm just happy to be a New England Patriot.
Q: What led to the dramatic uptick in production for you last year as opposed to your previous years at Houston?
ER: Well, just opportunity and this is what the NFL and college is mostly about, is opportunity. When you get your opportunity just make the best of it. I did and I was just trying to make plays out there to represent the University of Houston well, and now it's time to get back to work with the New England Patriots.