Q: How does it feel to put on the pads and get off the PUP list?
JE: It feels good. To get out here and get to see the fellas in pads and not get to see them after practice – that's the fun thing about this time of the year.
Q: How do you feel health-wise and do you think you're at 100 percent?
JE: I'm day-to-day right now, so I'm a day better than yesterday.
Q: What's the significance of you putting the pads back on?
JE: A lot of significance, you've got to get your football legs back in shape and you've got to have this extra weight on. It's about seven pounds, so it's good to get out here and run around with the pads and adjust to catching a ball with the shoulder pads, the helmet, the face mask; going out there and trying to get tired, as tired as possible with the pads on so you can get used to the games and stuff.
Q: What will the process be like for you now after getting back out there today?
JE: I'll ask them. Today, we just went out there and kind of got in some drills, tried to catch some balls from some guys, go out there and just be around the team, and then went down and did our own thing. I'll do what they tell me to do, and that's kind of where we're at.
Q: How valuable is that one-on-one time with Tom Brady?
JE: Any time you have one-on-one time with any quarterback, it's very valuable. Today, me and Tom [Brady] got to throw a few and that's always good to kind of see where we're at, see our timing, have him see my mechanics, me see his mechanics, me catch his ball. It will be good to get out here and do that with multiple guys.
Q: What was your reaction when Tom Brady decided to step down and accept his suspension?
JE: That's all in the past. I'm just worried about getting out here and trying to get myself into the best physical condition to go out here and try to help this team, so I'm worried about that.
Q: Is it important for you to get work in with Jimmy Garoppolo too during camp?
JE: It's important to get ready with Jimmy [Garoppolo], with Jacoby [Brissett], with Tom [Brady], with all the receivers, with all the guys on special teams, and to get in there and do stuff with coaches. It will be good to get in there with everyone.
Q: After coming back out today and getting pads on, what's the next step for you?
JE: I can't even answer that, I have to see. It's a progression. We're going to go in here and evaluate things, see how it feels, then come out and do it again. It's that kind of process so it's a day-to-day thing. You just try to go out and improve each day on your fundamentals, try to get all those things back and then knock off all the rust and all that stuff. That's where I'm at.
Q: Do you feel good about where you are in this stage of your recovery?
JE: I feel pretty good, so I feel good.
Q: Is it a good sign that you're not wearing a red non-contact jersey?
JE: Yeah, it's a good one. Red's my color, though. I like these [red] gloves.
Q: Is it a good sign that after reportedly having two procedures during the offseason, you're back practicing in pads before the first preseason game?
JE: I think any time you can go out and put pads on and practice before the season, I think it's a good sign. It's a good sign.
Q: What do you tell Jimmy Garoppolo going into his first four games as a starter?
JE: That's Coach [Josh] McDaniels' job. My job is to go out and try to get myself in the best possible shape physically going out there, and mentally, being on the same page as any quarterback and going out there to try to do my job, and that's to get open and catch the ball and compete in the run-game. That's what I'm going to worry about. That's above my pay grade on evaluating or telling guys what to do. We have a great coaching staff that does that and I'm sure they're coaching him up pretty well.
Q: Was this offseason different for you as it was likely more rehab-focused?
JE: It was pretty much the same, except just different circumstances.
Q: Coach Bill Belichick said the competition among the receivers is one of the best since he's been here - what have you seen from the younger guys in your time out here?
JE: Everyone's competing hard. Everyone's working hard in the classroom. They're doing it in the drills and it's translating in the team periods, so anytime there's more competition in any position, it's just going to push guys to be better. We have guys going out there and making plays, you have Harp [Chris Harper], you've got D.C. [DeAndre Carter], you've got Hogs [Chris Hogan], A.D. [Aaron Dobson] is doing real well. Dev [Devin Lucien] going in there and being a rookie, it's tough for him, but he's continuing to try to get better. Malcolm [Mitchell], he's shown some stuff, and Slate [Matthew Slater], just being a veteran. You've got a bunch of guys out there, Nate Washington as well, can't forget him, Keshawn [Martin]. Every guy has worked hard and every guy has done good things. My job is not to go out there and evaluate them, my job is to go out there and compete with them, so I'm looking forward to that chance.
Q: What do you tell the younger guys when they're picking your brain about learning this playbook?
JE: I tell them whatever they want to hear. I tell them what I would do in that situation. They've asked a lot of questions, and that's part of my job, to help make this corps as best as possible. I'll go down and we'll talk about, 'Hey, I would have done this; I would have stacked a little more. Hey, give a little something here,' you know, those types of things. I remember what it was like when I was a rookie. You have so many things going through your head. You're in a new area, you're new here, you're new there, so it's good to have a little help sometimes.