Q: How refreshing is it to get back to football?
JE: It's good. Like we say in the spring, it's always exciting to see the fellas. Then we had another little break, and then coming out here and getting to practice and seeing the fans out there again, how crowded it is – it's a fun atmosphere. It makes you want to come out here and get better each and every day. It's awesome.
Q: Does the reality hit from day one of training camp? OTAs and mini-camp are about preparation and doing a lot of film work, but now it's about the competition. Does that hit right away?
JE: I compete every day.
Q: The reason I ask is that Bill Belichick says that that's the teaching part of the year, and this is more about the competition.
JE: Yeah, but this is a game of competition, so it's definitely firing up. It's definitely firing up.
Q: With that in mind, how do you fire yourself up? What are you competing to try and improve every day?
JE: I'm trying to compete with myself to get better every day. I'm going out there and trying to not make any mental errors, going out there and practicing my technique, my fundamentals, learning new ones. There's a whole bunch of things I have to work on. I'm going to come out here and try to take advantage of that.
Q: As a receiver, you've got to catch the ball no matter who is throwing it. How important is chemistry with the quarterback?
JE: It's very important. Regardless of who's throwing to you, it's always good to be out there and be able to catch balls from anyone.
Q: How is Jimmy Garoppolo different this year than he was last year? How is your relationship with him different?
JE: You'd have to ask him or Coach Belichick. Those guys evaluate. I play. Jimmy comes out here and he works his tail off trying to get better every day. I expect that from him, and he's doing that.
Q: What skills does he bring to the table as a quarterback?
JE: Ask Bill. I'm not a talent evaluator over here.
Q: What do you sense from Tom Brady in the first couple days of camp?
JE: He's out here doing what everyone else is doing – trying to get better. It's a new year. There are a bunch of individual goals that everyone has. I'm sure you could ask him what his are, but he's coming out here and he's putting the time in just like everyone else and just trying to get better.
Q: How hard is it to put aside the distractions and the airplanes flying overhead and the fans chanting Tom's name?
JE: You know, it's pretty funny actually to see those kinds of things. It's awesome to hear the fans – how they support everything. Ultimately our minds are on just trying to get in here and get to work and try to mold our team. That's what we're thinking about.
Q: You say it's funny, but does it fire you guys up at all?
JE: Truthfully, you look up and you hear the whistle and you've got to get to the next period, so Coach [Belichick] is over here yelling at us to get to the next period. You can't even really think of it. Coach always has his tactics to keep us in the game.
Q: How do you maintain the chip on your shoulder that you brought into this league after now having periods of great success?
JE: I've got a lot of individual goals. I'll keep those to myself, but I'm self-motivated. I want to come out here and try to do everything I can do to help this team and that's what I'm going to try to do.
Q: How would you characterize the receiver group that's out here competing for jobs?
JE: You said it. It's a bunch of guys out here trying to compete including myself. You've got some veteran players. Everyone has kind of been here for a couple of years at least, so it's a smart group of guys, but we're all here just trying to take the coaching here from the classroom and bring it to the grass, to the drills to the team. It's a competing group. We're all competing to try and earn our role.
Q: How does this team continue to block out distraction and stay motivated no matter what the situation is?
JE: Our leader, Coach Belichick, always reminds us that it's not about the future; it's about what's on our plate right now and what's on our plate right now is going out and trying to get better each day in training camp. He's been around a very long time as he always says, around this league, so you're going to trust what he says and just try to continue to get better each and every day.
Q: Knowing Brady, do you feel like, when all is said and done, he is going to want to once again prove that nobody should've doubted him?
JE: I mean you're going to have to ask him, and what happened in the past, happened in the past. I'm just kind of trying to worry about what I have to do right now.
Q: He's your guy though.
JE: He is my guy, but I've got to worry about my job so that I can be there for my guy.
Q: He's always had razor sharp focus, but would you say it's to another level if that was even possible?
JE: You said it. He's always razor sharp focused. It's one of those things where he's focused, we're trying to be focused and we're all trying to be focused.