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Kony Ealy Press Conference Transcript 5/16

Patriots Defensive Lineman Kony Ealy addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday, May 16, 2017.

Q: How are you, Kony?

KE: I'm doing fine.

Q: What are some of your first impressions of life as a Patriot?

KE: Oh man. Just the way they do things here. [It's] totally, totally different, but it's a good different and I'm just enjoying the process as I go forward. 

Q: What are some examples of the differences that you're referring to?

KE: Just attention to detail is the [biggest] thing that sticks out that Coach Bill [Belichick] preaches on and off the field. It could be in many different categories but just being attentive. 

Q: Do you see any scheme similarities between here and Carolina that will allow you to be a productive player here?

KE: It's too early on right now just to say. Right now it's just about the process and just about going and getting better each and every day. Those things will come along as the season progresses. 

Q: Who have you leaned on since you've been here - whether it comes to picking up the system or just figuring out where to go around here?

KE: I can just pretty much say buying in and following the team. You don't have one specific guy that kind of leads everybody all the time, but you have guys that do the right things on and off the field so I just try to follow along with that and just try to buy into the system here.

Q: How did your father's military background affect your upbringing in terms of him and what he taught you?

KE: Well he kept me out of a lot of trouble growing up. [He was] just real attentive in certain situations, especially when it comes to helping raising my sister. I really just had to grow up at an early age as far as really taking on that responsibility as I learned to. Some of the things, whether it was going to work and just kind of getting that fatherhood, learning how to do different characteristic traits, stuff that involves just being outside the house. 

Q: Following the birth of your daughter last year, Coach Ron Rivera said he noticed a difference in your approach. Would you concur and how did that affect your professional life?

KE: Well I think for anybody that has another responsibility besides themselves, besides your work - meaning like another human being - you have to take a different approach as far as this is not about you. It's about that human being, especially if it's your child. So for me it was just an eye-opener as far as wanting a better life for her because it's no longer about me at that point.  

Q: After being traded, does that create any extra motivation or a chip on your shoulder?

KE: I think just being able to be in this process right now, having a job and being able to do something that I love to do and be able to provide for my family, it's something that I think is really important and motivates me. [I'm] just looking forward to the future. Period. 

Q: In a new place with one year remaining on your contract, how do you view the dynamics of all that?

KE: Oh man. I don't worry about that. Like I said, I keep preaching this about the process and I'm just trying to stay [on] track, head forward and not worrying about anything that's going to clog up my memory. My job is to come in here, learn the system and buy into the team.

Q: What do you think you need to do to live up to the potential or hype [referring to Ealy's performance in Super Bowl 50]?

KE: That Super Bowl game is over, man. I really don't like to talk about the past. My job, like I said, is to come in here buy into the system and make the most of my opportunity here. Period. And let everything lie where they may. Just don't worry about the future right now. Just worry about the present. 

Q: How exciting is it to start anew and learn a new system?

KE: I'm very excited. I love it here. I love the people, the program, as far as how Coach [Bill] Belichick runs it. Everybody buys in. You can see the difference between that. I love it here and I'm going to continue to work my butt off and try to get better. 

Q: Since arriving here, has anything surprised you about Coach Bill Belichick at all?

KE: A little bit. You know a lot of people I've heard - you hear a lot of things before you come to an opposing team, especially the Patriots. It's a great team, great organization. But you can see why they win so much and why we win so much now that I'm a Patriot.  So when you get here you kind of experience your own little experience as far as within the system. That's the only surprise as far as the rumors and stuff that you hear outside of the team before you join the team. Pretty much that's it.

Q: Have there been any conversations about your role if they're going to ask you to move around a little bit more? Is that something you would be comfortable with doing here?

KE: Man, I just want to dominate whatever position I'm in, you know? I think if you take that mind approach good things will happen for you. 

Q: How do you anticipate the competition for playing time at the defensive end position?

KE: The competition is going to be at an all-time high at all times and I think that's good because it motivates guys to do better - not just to try to beat each other out but to kind of work together and just kind of push forward going forward. I think if you take that approach to the process everything will come out the way you want it. 

Q: Have you seen that reflected in the way some of the other defensive ends train?

KE: I mean this is pro football, the National Football League. I think at this elite level everything is at an all-time high as far as competition. Depending on where you're at in the league, then I guess you can take that approach a different way. 

Q: Was buying in something that was difficult to do in Carolina? If so, why is it different here?

KE: I don't think it was difficult in Carolina. They're got a great organization over there. Every team is different. 

Q: Is it something about the coaching staff that allows the buy in? Is that buy in immediately there because they have the resume that they have?

KE: We won in Carolina when I was there when I was a part of the Panthers, but here - coming here it's really hard to tell other than the reputation that they've held here. At the end of the day, no program or no organization is the same obviously - or else everybody would have the same record. [I] just come in and do my job and compete.

Q: Were you surprised at all to be traded?

KE: I can't say whether I was surprised or whether I was angry or anything. I think it's more so just being blessed to have another opportunity to better yourself in a fresh start.

Q: What do you remember about your interaction with the Patriots prior to being drafted? Did you have a sense that they had a positive impression?

KE: Yeah, I can remember back we had a great meeting period, whether it was workouts, whether it was in the classroom, one-on-one time. At the end of the day, that was like three years ago. Obviously I was drafted where I was supposed to be drafted because it falls different. Other than that I love the organization where I'm at right now. I love my teammates and my coaches around me so my job is just to try to prevail and get better each day. I can't worry about anything in the past and I'm not going to. 

Q: How did you know Trey Flowers? What has it been like reconnecting with him?

KE: Just going through that whole draft process. Obviously when you're in college you compete and we competed in the same league. You watch film against a guy and you kind of meet him. So between that process and now there's nothing different than what I've said. Trey is an awesome guy [and] a great athlete. My [job] is to just go out there and compete with each other and get better. 

Q: Is there anything that you feel like you might be able to take from his game and apply it to yours?

KE: I think we can learn from each other as we go on. Nobody is too good to know everything or try to learn something different each day.

Q: Coach Ron Rivera previously described you as a player whose best football is still ahead of him. Do you agree with that statement?

KE: Definitely. I think that about anybody that's in the league. Like I just said you can't be on the same page as you were last year or two weeks ago. There's always room to improve and respects to Coach [Ron] Rivera and I appreciate his comments but I have a feeling he's right about that and along with everybody in the league. There's always room to grow. 

Q: Have you noticed anything about the Patriots that reminds you of the military or is connected to that?

KE: Well the way Coach [Bill] Belichick runs his organization I think is obviously similar to the military lifestyle. Now whether you want to hype it up to whether it's exactly like the military, it's not. But at the end of the day with respects to the military, it's an organized organization. You just want to do things right and do things as most perfect as you can and if you fell short then hey at least you're trying hard. Your job is to go out there and just try a little hard and get better each day. I think with that approach you get a championship-caliber team, you know?

Q: Does anything stand out to you from previous preseason games against the Patriots?

KE: That it was a competition, whether it was a preseason. I didn't treat it like a preseason. I treated it like a championship game because when you play against a caliber team as of such you want to do that. You want to try to compete the most you can and the best you can. Competing against the offensive line here, I think going forward it's going to be a great opportunity to me to get better as a pass rusher and defensively overall.  

Q: Did you overlap with Josh Augusta at all in college?

KE: Yeah, I mean obviously we were in the same room. It was like three years ago, three and a half year ago. He's a great player and he's going to grow. 

Q: Have you made it up to any Celtics games since you've been here?

KE: Not yet but I'm so glad that the Celtics won. I was pushing for them last night. Great job. Great team win. I'm looking forward to going to one of the games.

Q: Are you going to go to the Eastern Conference Finals?

KE: I plan to. 

Q: Did you root for the Celtics growing up?

KE: On and off. I mean I'm a fan of basketball. I played basketball for a number of years. I've got a number of friends in the NBA. The all-time competition as far as competing, I love that, especially now in the playoffs because every team is competing to get to that top level. I think that's what I enjoy most about it. 

Q: Do you have any friends on the Celtics?

KE: I had one but I guess he's not on the team anymore.

Q: Who are your NBA friends?

KE: Bradley Beal, I grew up with him a little bit. Ben McLemore, Austin Rivers. I played against Kyrie [Irving] when we were younger, a lot younger. I could go on and on. I was in that basketball world of AAU and [I had] great times back then but obviously now my profession is all I focus on. 

Q: What was your game like? Were you a power forward?

KE: I played every position I think you can think of and I'm pretty sure those guys did too. In that league or growing up you kind of want to excel in everything you do. I just had fun, I remember those times and it was good memories. 

Q: Would you say this is going to be your best year?

KE: Well I think each year should be your best year. You never should be complacent with the year you had previously. You should always want to get better and that's what I plan on doing individually and with the team. I'm pretty sure everybody around here has the same attitude as far as that

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