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Patriots Player Quotes - 7/28/2011

Patriots players LB Jerod Mayo, CB Devin McCourty and DL Vince Wilfork spoke with the media following the morning session of training camp at Gillette Stadium on Thursday, July 28, 2011.


(On how the new rules regarding double sessions change how the players get in shape)
"Coach Belichick will find a way to get us in shape and get us ready to go for four quarters, so that's what we'll do."

(On his feelings on the rule banning two-a-days)
"To be honest - whatever the rules are, they are and I'm willing to do it any way - two-a-days, three-a-days, whatever."

(On how the presence of Vince Wilfork helps him do his job)
"It helps a lot. A lot of people see how big he is, the double teams that he takes and things like that, but people don't really know that he's a smart guy, a smart player. He makes some of the adjustments and helps me out a lot on the field. He's a good player."

(On how he feels about the defense this year)
"We were pretty young last year, so having guys here learning things [was constructive], even though it was an awkward year. But, these guys came back in shape and we're ready to go."

(On how critical the jump from year one to year two was for him)
"It was very critical. At the same time, I had some veteran leaders around me that helped me, took me under their wing that first and second year. It really helped me out a lot."

(On how important the veteran players are given the shortened offseason)
"Everyone is in the same boat. We're all starting from scratch. It's not like we had the passing camps and things like that, so we all have a lot of learning to do."

(On fan excitement for the return of football)
"They're very excited. We're excited to see them out here as well, so it's a good day."


(On if there is a sense of urgency or rushing)
"Not rushing, but I think in this game of football that there is always a sense of urgency. You're preparing for an opponent. You can't control what your opponent does. You can only worry about yourself. There's always a sense of urgency of how much better you can get each day."

(On how the Patriots locker room welcomes new players with different personalities)
"I'm not sure because I wasn't here when those guys came, but I know myself as a rookie coming in that I got a lot of help from veterans, just telling me where to be and how to become a pro. I can't say anything bad about the way I came into this locker room and learned to become a pro."

(On the challenge to coming into the Patriots' culture from the outside)
"I think it's a challenge anytime you go to a new team or coming in as a rookie, you have to learn new things. You have to learn the way the organization works. Anytime you have to learn something new, there's always some challenges."

(On how different the physical part of the game is at this level)
"People are moving faster. Guys are bigger and stronger. They have more knowledge of the game. When you become a pro, you have to do a lot more to your body and step up your level because everyone is better."

(On preventing injuries at the start of camp)
"We listen to our coaches. I think our training staff and coaches have mapped out a plan for us and as players, our job is to come out here and play and do what they ask of us."

(On the excitement level)
"I know for me, being here for my second training camp, just to be back and get in here, it's kind of the same feeling of that first year: happy to be back, happy to be playing."


(On putting the team first)
"It's always the team first. That's the Patriot way. If you can't put the team first, then you won't be here. That's the motto that we live by. We really don't care too much about the individual [accomplishments] because we want to win. It's not an individual sport where you go out on the track and run 100 yards or a 200-yard dash and win a medal. To win in this, it takes a team effort. The quicker we understand that, the quicker we can get things rolling."

(On how much he pays attention to the personnel moves of other teams)
"I don't pay attention at all because whenever we play, whoever we play, it doesn't matter who is on that [other] sideline or who is on that field. The game is always won between the lines, so I care less who I play against. I just try to prepare well and put it out there on the field. That's one of the main things that we have to [do], get this playbook down, and every day is going to be a challenge. It's going to challenge us, but I think with commitment we'll be ok."

(On this offseason)
"Like I said, all of that doesn't matter. We've been away for a long time and whatever you've got, you've got to give it to us. That's where we're all at. All that's in the past and everything is over. It's football. Everyone wanted football. Well, it's here. How quick we can learn [is] how quick we can get better as a team. Make progress every day - that's our goal."

(On what he expects from Bill Belichick)
"I don't know. Whatever he has for us, I'm pretty sure it's something we need."

(On his role as a leader in welcoming new players to the team)
"I think everyone in that locker room [does that]. It's just the type of people we have. If you're here, we'll welcome you with open arms because we always want to be on the same page. No matter how you slice it, when you step on this field, you have to be on the same page. That's where mistakes happen. So whoever steps in that locker room, we're going to make sure we cover everything we can in that team room and in meeting rooms and one-on-one time to put it on this field in practice and a game. But that's being a professional. We're very competitive. There're 32 teams out there and every one of them is competitive. I just believe that it's going to be very competitive at this camp. Like I said, it's going to be different, but you know what? The ball is rolling so we have to continue to roll it and hopefully we can get this thing started the right way."

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