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Patriots Media Access Transcripts 8/10

Patriots Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and Tight End Rob Gronkowski address the media following a Training Camp practice at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday, August 10, 2016.


Q: How much do you enjoy going up against another team rather than the same defense for the last two weeks?

JG: It's fun; it's really a good time. You get to come out here, different looks; different people. Everything is kind of just refreshing really. You got against the same guys for 10 or 11 days and it gets - you see the same guys and everything, so it's nice to see new faces.

Q: As a quarterback trying to build more of a connection with the receivers, how exciting was it to see Julian Edelman out there today in these conditions?

JG: It was good. Julian [Edelman], he hasn't been out there as much as everyone would hope, but he came out here and it was good to see him running around. Just getting him back out there is always nice.

Q: Did you as a quarterback hold your breath yesterday when you saw Julian Edelman so frustrated when he went down and had to leave practice?

JG: No, I mean you love to have a guy like that who is a competitor, who is going to fight for you, and you know he cares about the game. It makes you want to play that much better and perform at a higher level just having guys around you like that. It's always nice to have that.

Q: At this stage of camp, how do things change when the games hit?

JG: It's always different on game day. It's a different feel and everything. You get those butterflies in your stomach and all that. It's awesome. Football is back now. It's been back for 10 or 11 days but it's been practice so now we get to go out there and play tomorrow night.

Q: How do you approach these preseason snaps knowing that you are going to get snaps in the regular season this year?

JG: Pretty similar to the last two years, to be honest. It's an opportunity to go out there and perform with your teammates. It's obviously different than practice. Different situations will come up and you don't know how many snaps you're going to get or how many snaps you're not going to get. It's all Coach [Belichick]'s call, so when you're called on, you've just got to go out there and perform.

Q: What's it like for you being in that kind of situation this year?

JG: It's different for sure. It keeps you on your toes, it keeps you sharp. It's a good problem to have, I'll say that.

Q: Will you be starting tomorrow night?

JG: I don't know. Your guess is as good as mine.

Q: How important is it for you to get as many reps as possible with that first unit?

JG: It's tough right now because you don't know who the first unit is or who the second unit is. I kind of like how Coach [Belichick] does it. We rotate in and out. Injuries are going to happen throughout the year so you have to be able to play with different guys and adapt to how they play. I think it's a good situation to put us out there like that.

Q: Are you satisfied with your performance during camp so far?

JG: There's always room for improvement. As a quarterback, especially as a young quarterback, I'm only going into my third year, so there's always room for improvement; little things here and there that you just pick up on and correct the next day.

Q: Is there anything specific you'd like to improve on after two days of joint practices and the intensity ramping up a bit?

JG: Little things here and there, nothing real specific. You just want to be sharp, especially tomorrow night when game time comes around.

Q: Are you happy with where you are at right now?

JG: We're moving in the right direction, I'll say that.

Q: How do you think you respond to mistakes you make on the field?

JG: Being a quarterback, you have to have a short memory. Bad things are going to happen, that's how football is, so you have to respond the right way to it. There are 10 other guys in that huddle looking at you, so you have to respond the right way.

Q: How often do you try different things in practice just to see what happens?

JG: Yeah, not question. Part of that is gauging your receivers, your running backs, whatever it may be, and just building a trust level in those guys. If you want to try something new, something a guy's never done before, it's good to try it in practice. Obviously, you'd rather try it in practice than the game and have a bad result. That's what practice is for. You've got to make the mistakes here so you don't make them in the game.

Q: When watching back film of these training camp practices how have you judged yourself and have you categorized them as good workouts or bad?

JG: I think they're all good workouts. Anytime you get to come out on the field and perform, especially against another team, it's a different look. It keeps you on your toes, keeps you sharp, you're not doing the same thing every day. You're not seeing the same coverages very day like you are from your teammates. It's just a different look, and any work out there is good work.

Q: How touching was it for everyone to hear from Eric LeGrand today?

JG: Very. I've heard of his story just from the ESPY's and seeing him on TV and stuff, but I had never met him in person. To meet a guy like that, it's pretty amazing what he's doing; very, very inspirational. His goal, I've heard from some of the Rutgers guys, is to walk off the field at Met Life. More power to him. That's unbelievable.

Q: Can you say that you are on the same page as Rob Gronkowski, Martellus Bennett or some of the receivers that you're going to have to throw to?

JG: Yeah, we're going in the right direction. We've got to take it day by day, and like I said, you never know who you're going to be out there with. All the tight ends, all the receivers, all the skill guys on offense, it's a long process in camp, but we're definitely going in the right direction.

Q: What is the biggest sign to you that you're going in the right direction?

JG: It's kind of a feel thing. You read their body language, you know what they're going to do before they do it type of thing. I think as a quarterback, it's a good feeling when, before the ball is even snapped, you know what this guy is going to do before he does it. It's just a comforting feeling.

Q: For the most part, it's been a pretty nice training camp so is it good to get practices in this type of weather?

JG: Yeah, I mean nothing new to us, really. A couple of the Saints guys asked me what that thing was over there and I was like, 'Yeah, that's our bubble but we don't really go in there too much.' A little shocking for them maybe, but this is what we deal with in New England so you have to play through it.

Q: Do you have a relationship with Sean Payton both having played at Eastern Illinois?

JG: Yeah, a little bit. When I visited there and everything, I got to meet him a couple of times. There's not many of us Eastern Illinois Panthers out here. Three of us are out here on the same field – me, Kamu [Grugier-Hill] and Coach [Sean] Payton, so it's a rare thing but it's always nice to see a friendly face like that.

Q: Did New Orleans show interest in you in the Draft?

JG: It's tough to say. I went on a lot of visits and everything like that. You never know what teams are interested or what teams are just doing it to show things to other teams, but it was a good experience, definitely.

Q: Coach Sean Payton said it was stressful to watch the Eastern Illinois loss to Towson in 2013. Do you still think back to that one?

JG: Oh yeah, that was a frustrating game. It's one of those things, one of those days that's frustrating to think about, but you live and learn from it I guess.


Q: What's it been like getting to go up against a different defense in joint practices?

RG: It's a lot more enjoyable. We've been going up against each other for about two weeks straight. It's always great competition and it's always great to see someone new. Seeing new looks, seeing new players, it gives you new techniques on what to work on. It's just great to see new competition out there. It makes it a lot more fun, having the energy go up and everything too.

Q: Even though it's only the preseason, how awesome will be it getting to put the jersey on tomorrow and go out and play in front of the fans inside the stadium?

RG: It's awesome. Even though it's just a preseason game, it's just a great feeling to get that experience. Running through the tunnel, putting the pads on, putting the jersey back on, it's going to be a great experience tomorrow to get the juices flowing again.

Q: Will the feeling still be the same if you don't play?

RG: Even if you don't play.

Q: You have not played in a preseason game in the last 14 or so games, any idea if you'll play tomorrow?

RG: I have no idea; whatever Coach [Belichick] is planning for us. I'm planning on playing the whole game.

Q: What gives you the indication that you're on the same page with Jimmy Garoppolo?

RG: The indication is just coming out to practice every day and working hard. Coming out, getting on the same page, throwing together, and going out there into team drills, hitting passes. It's all going well. The chemistry is definitely there, and we're all on the same page of where we need to be and how we need to run things, so it's all going smooth.

Q: Are you at the point with Jimmy Garoppolo yet where he knows where you expect the ball and he expects you to be in that spot?

RG: Yes. I would say after a few years now being together, going into our third year, I would definitely say we have a feel for each other. I definitely know when I come out of a break, where the ball is going to be with him. He knows where I'm going to be, so we're definitely on the same page. We've felt each other out now to the point that we know what to expect.

Q: How excited were you to see Julian Edelman out here in rainy conditions with everybody else?

RG: Super excited. It's always great to see a player that's been working hard all offseason and all during camp to get back out there on the field. He's a great player, very talented, and he brings a lot of hard work and dedication which inspires other players to work hard to.

Q: Having been through injury issues yourself, did you hold your breath when you say Julian Edelman go off the field yesterday?

RG: I didn't even see that, so I was breathing totally fine. I didn't even know until someone said it later that night that he left practice early. So yeah, I was unaware.

Q: So it was normal for you seeing Julian Edelman out there at practice today?

RG: Yeah, it was normal. Isn't it normal for you guys? You guys are watching everyone, though. You get the front row. I was out there working hard, trying to get better.

Q: Do you feel like more of a coach during these preseason games?

RG: Yeah, definitely feel like e a coach way more than I did back in the day. Rookie year, I was just trying to learn. Now we have all these other rookies coming in, asking questions every day, just trying to learn everything. It's good though, definitely. I'm definitely still learning. You can learn as much football every day, always learn something new. It does feel great, though, going out there and teaching young players where to be, what to do, what type of routes it is, and everything else, all the concepts. So it's cool.

Q: What type of leader are you?

RG: I just really don't even talk about it. I just do what I've got to do.

Q: After practicing against the Saints last year, what differences have you seen in their defense this year?

RG: They're a good team. They've got good players all around. Their offense is super legit. Their defense is legit. There's really not that many types of changes they've got going on. They still play the same type of defense and all, but they came out here and they were ready to roll.

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