New England Patriots safety John Lynch addresses the media during his on-field interview on Friday, August 15, 2008 at Gillette Stadium.
Q: Can you talk about how you ended up signing with the Patriots?
JL: I don't know how exactly it went down but I was obviously flattered when there was an interest. This was a place where it nearly happened four years ago when I went to Denver [Broncos]. I was extremely impressed then and I have always admired this organization from afar. You come out here and you have star players all over with Randy Moss, Tom Brady, [Mike] Vrabel, [Tedy] Bruschi, Rodney [Harrison], you can go on and on with guys like [Richard] Seymour and [Vince] Wilfork. To me, the thing that has always impressed me the most is the way they play the game. I think they play it the right way. They embody the sense of a team as well as anyone. That has led to their success and I think everybody in the league wants to be part of that. Never did I think…I thought Denver would be my last spot but things happen and I am happy to be here.
Q: Any big surprises on your first day at practice?
JL: No big surprises. I think that I functioned well on such little sleep. I was out here early in the week and then I went home and discussed it with my family. I felt good about the decision. I came back and learned the playbook in one night. I got through it pretty good and it was a good first day.
Q: Do you think you can still be an 'every down' player?
JL: We will see. I think if you produce, things like that happen. That is what I will do. I will just try and come out here and be the best that I can be and see where that leads us.
Q: What was the reason for parting ways with Denver?
JL: I am just looking forward to being here for all the reasons I said earlier. This is a place where they utilize veteran guys very well. When someone has a track record, you are interested in being a part of that. I am extremely excited about being here.
Q: Would you have a chance of playing this Sunday against one of your former teams [Tampa Bay Buccaneers]?
JL: I studied hard last night and I am picking it up. We will see. If they want me out there, I would love to be out there. I would love the opportunity…my old stomping grounds.
Q: What was your first reaction when you started reading the playbook?
JL: If you have played football long enough it is all very similar concepts just different names for it. That can be hard because old habits die hard. You go through a translation and see the defenses and say 'OK this is that.' They did a great job of getting up to speed. I didn't get a whole lot of sleep last night but I came out here and pulled it off for the first day. It was good.
Q: How close were you to signing with the New England Patriots in 2004?
JL: I was very close. A lot of that experience, as I said, I thought Denver [Broncos] would be my last stop. I always said if I had the opportunity to come back here this would be a place I would love to play. I think that experience helped me make my decision and hopefully it helped them make their decision. I am very excited about it.
Q: What do you think it is about the New England Patriots, is it the coaches or the players, that make veterans want to come here?
JL: People want to be involved with success. The fact that they have been very successful makes it a place where a lot of people want to be. You also understand what they have done in the past doesn't really stand for a whole lot right now. We have to create this season by going out there everyday and working our hardest. This week it is Tampa Bay [Buccaneers] and we are looking forward to that.
Q: Throughout your career, two of the hardest hitting safeties in the league have been you and current Patriot Rodney Harrison. How much have you admired him from afar? How much are you looking forward to playing with him?
JL: Very much so, I am from San Diego so in off-seasons and what not I would run into Rodney a couple of times. We have always admired each other's play. It is going to be great to be able to play with him.
Q: Did you measure yourself against him in the '90s and early 2000s?
JL: This is his 15th year and my 16th year. Obviously, when you are in the game that long, I don't think it is so much measure but I have studied him. You try to emulate guys that are the best. You take little parts of their game. He is a guy I have always respected for the passion he plays with and the way he plays. It is going to be fun to play with him.
Q: What did you learn from studying Rodney Harrison?
JL: Well, hopefully we can both teach each other some things. Some times you can learn stuff form young guys. That is the great thing about this game is that you are never done learning and never have it figured out. That is the challenge that keeps things going.
Q: You had a great following with the Denver Broncos. What would you say to the folks back there that are having a tough time seeing you in a different uniform?
JL: It was a wonderful four years. Everybody treated me incredibly. My only regret is that we didn't get the ultimate goal. Denver may still be home for us. It is nothing but positive thoughts there.
Q: You have played for a lot of high profile coaches in the NFL. What are your thoughts on Bill Belichick so far?
JL: I had the opportunity to visit here a couple of years ago and I have played for him at the Pro Bowl. He is obviously a guy that is tremendously respected. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him and his knowledge of the game. I am very fortunate. I have played for the likes of Bill Walsh in college [Stanford]. In the NFL, the [Mike] Shanahans, [Jon] Grudens and Tony Dungys. I am excited to play for him.
Q: What did you have to do to get the number 47 from linebacker Vince Redd?
JL: I didn't even know someone else was in it. They were giving the other guy a hard time. Seeing that he is rookie, I don't think I have to do a whole lot. They took care of the dirty business but I will take care of him. I will take him out to dinner or something.