Q: Are you excited about your new contract?
JE: Definitely. I want to thank the Krafts, Mr. [Robert] Kraft, the Kraft family, Coach [Bill] Belichick, the coaching staff for giving me another opportunity to stay here and play. I love being a Patriot and we'll leave it at that. I'm looking forward to the 2017 season. You know, looking for more time to improve, taking advantage of these few weeks off to go out and work on my own and try to bring everything I have to this team.
Q: If you finish out your contract, what does it mean to you that you will have spent a decade with this team after being a seventh-round pick?
JE: You know, I'm just worried about this year, so you can't think too far ahead. That's what I've learned in this profession over my years. So I'm just worried about the next day, and the next day is going out and trying to improve and getting ready for this 2017 season.
Q: Does the ring ceremony help cap off the 2016 season and help you move on to 2017?
JE: Yeah, I could say for me personally it does that. Sixteen was fun but '16 is over. It's '17 now. There are no champions. Everyone's got the same record. Everyone is working hard in heat. So it's one of those things where the teams that can go out and take advantage of these times and really mold together are usually the teams that come out and have good starts to their seasons, so that's what I'm trying to do personally.
Q: You've been through a number of these OTAs and minicamps. How would you describe this one specifically?
JE: I can't speak for everyone else. I can speak for my room. We've got a lot of guys in there that are working hard. We've got a lot of guys taking extra time, a lot of competition, and competition is what makes you better. You know, we've got a lot of able guys in that room. We've got great additions. We've got Hogs [Chris Hogan] who's been here for a year, so he's getting something going. He's got some familiarity with the system. You've got a bunch of young guys that are coming in, working hard, and we're all just trying to get better.
Q: Having not had to deal with any offseason surgeries or injuries, how do you feel at this point in the year?
JE: I feel good. It's nice not having to do that kind of stuff, getting surgeries and all that. It gives you an opportunity to get better. That's what the offseason's for. When you get hurt, it doesn't matter if you come in 100 percent feeling fast, feeling quick, feeling explosive. These are the days you go out and this is how you get better because when you're hurt, you're trying to get healthy and when you're getting healthy, other guys are working on their techniques, their fundamentals, and it's giving them an upper hand. It's always nice to be on the practice field because, ultimately, practice is the most important thing other than the game because that's where you gain your confidence, that's where you get your fundamentals. I'm a practice player. The more I practice, the more confident I become.
Q: To what extent do you think Alex Guerrero and the work you've done with him has helped extend your career and be healthy at your age?
JE: I think it's a huge part. It's a lifestyle on how to take care of your body, what you put in your body, flushing your body with his work. Before and after practice, keeping your muscles pliable, keeping them hydrated; those things. All it is is knowledge and the more knowledge you get through the years, the more powerful you can get. That's kind of the little saying: more knowledge, more power. It's definitely helped me a lot and I look forward to continue doing it.
Q: Do you have a target age for yourself that you'd like to play until in the NFL?
JE: I'm just worried about 2017. It's an exciting part of the year right now. It's almost the start of the season, so that's what I'll be looking forward to.
Q: What would it mean to you to finish your career as a Patriot?
JE: I already said I'm happy to be a Patriot. I'm a Pat, but I'm just worried about this year. As lame as it sounds and as much as you guys hear it, it's really a mentality where you just keep it day-to-day. When you can do that, that's usually when you stay focused and you improve the most. That's how I'm going to try to take this.
Q: Does it ever amaze you when think about what you've accomplished by having that mentality for so many days from the moment you were drafted until now?
JE: No, it doesn't. When you see the hard work you put in, this is what you dream for as an opportunity. You go out and play for a really good ball club and unbelievable owner and probably the best coach of all time. It's a testament of just taking the coaching, finding out what you have to do to improve, working hard at it consistently and going out and improving. That's what I'm going to continue to try to do.
Q: You are from the Bay Area. How do you feel about the Warriors winning the championship?
JE: You know, I've got a couple ties to Ohio, too, going to Kent State. Kyrie Irving, LeBron [James] - I mean, those guys are studs. I guess the Warriors won. I was a Warriors fan, but I think it was just a little unfair with KD [Kevin Durant]. I mean, that team was ridiculous. Congratulations to them, Steph [Curry] and those guys. I mean, they're studs, but it's almost unfair. It was fun to watch because it was two elite basketball teams playing really good basketball and another team just dominating. It will be exciting to see what the Cavs do in the offseason, and it will also be exciting to see what the Warriors do, see if they keep [Klay] Thompson and what they're going to do. I'm no GM, though.
Q: Some say the Patriots are pretty stacked. What do you think of that?
JE: Ask Coach Belichick.