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Patriots Rookie Partial Transcripts

New England Patriots rookies addressed the media during player access at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday, May 11, 2016.



(On how much he's looking forward to learning under Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo)
"They're great. They're teaching me a lot now and [I] just continue to learn from them and try to be the best player that I can."

(On if there is a lot to learn from Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels)
"Definitely, definitely. They're great coaches and I'm excited to be a part of the organization and get to learning."

(On if he sees himself as part of the competition at the quarterback position)
"I'm a rookie. I just got here so I'm trying to learn as much as I can and when my chance comes, it'll come."

(On if being a quarterback puts him in any kind of leadership role amongst the other rookies)
"Definitely, but we're all still learning so we're learning the ins and outs and what we're supposed to do."

(On how hard the learning aspect has been since arriving here)
"It's been great because a lot of those guys - we're all learning - so it's like nobody has a heads up on each other, so it's been exciting."

(On if he's spoken to Bill Parcells at all since arriving here and what advice he has been given)
"Right now just to take it all in and understand that it's a great learning experience, a great opportunity to learn from some great people."



(On if he was disappointed in not being drafted)
"No, I went through the whole process with open arms and took it day-by-day. I had great family support around me. I knew how the process was going to go. Some guys, you kind of have an idea [on where they will go] and some guys like me, you just don't know where you could fall. I'm so happy where I ended up. I'm here now. I'm part of this organization and I'm very excited to go forward with that."

(On how he felt when he called his grandmother after signing with the Patriots)
"It was amazing. I forgot I was mic'd up at the time, so I remember I walked around [to the back of the house] and heard my grandma's voice [on the phone] and kind of just broke down. Throughout my whole life, this is a dream a lot of us have and being able to get to that point and to talk to coach [Bill] Belichick and understand what my future is and kind of going to this next level was just an exciting moment for me and my family. It was a great moment."

(On why he chose to sign with the Patriots)
"I was excited about the opportunity. I talked to coach Belichick and I loved what he had to say and obviously this organization definitely has a name for itself. Just to come out here and be a part of this, a great team and a great organization, I was excited."

(On what it's like when choosing to sign with an NFL team as undrafted free agent)
"It was crazy for me. We had about five minutes [to decide where to sign]. I had the chance to talk to coach Belichick. Like I said, this organization speaks for itself, especially for a guy my age and growing up and hearing about them and the organization of the New England Patriots. I talked to him and loved his message to me and was excited to join [the team]."

(On if he was familiar with the Patriots running back depth prior to signing with the team)
"I don't really focus too much about that. Right now, I mean, a lot of us are just trying to become professionals now and understanding what it takes to be professional and learning about our teammates and all the great guys in that locker room and in this organization. That's what I'm doing right now."

(On whether the move from running back to wide receiver in college was detrimental or beneficial to him as a player)
"Beneficial. Moving to receiver kind of helped me broaden my view and perspective of the game. I learned a lot as a receiver. I learned a lot being in the receiver room, understanding defenses a little better as a receiver and overall it helps me as a running back, so they both correlate with each other and I definitely think it will benefit me in the long run."


(On what's the first week has been like)
"We've been working hard and I'm trying to get down what I need to [in order to] learn and prove myself every day.

(On your impressions of offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia)
"You've got to know what you're doing. He demands a lot out of his players, which is why he's had such a good record. I'm just excited to keep working for him. He's a good coach and you have respect for your coach no matter who it is. He does command respect and I'm doing everything I can to learn his language and be the best player I can be. He's one of the guys who can help me get there."

(On trying to prove yourself without wearing pads)
"You've got to get your technique down - footwork is huge. I think you can definitely improve your pass blocking a lot throughout this mini-camp and OTAs coming up with no pads on."

(On being the fifth guy in your family to play football)
"I'm happy to join the fraternity. It's been a lifelong dream of mine and I'm very excited for this opportunity. My family was all very excited and there's only three left so I'm glad I can continue the tradition."

(On the stories you've heard from your family about life in the NFL)
"Alex [Karras] wrote a few books, so I read those as a kid. They were pretty entertaining. My grandpa told a lot of stories about being on the [Chicago] Bears in the 60s. He shared winning the world championship in '63, which was the biggest thrill of his life, and playing rivals like [Eugene] 'Big Daddy' Lipscomb of the Colts. So I think I have a pretty good grasp of NFL history."

(On whether he put you on his knee and told you about life about the NFL)
"It was mostly him making me do push-ups and telling me about the NFL, but it served me well."


(On your impressions of the Boston area so far)
"It can get a little cold, but I'm happy with the opportunity to be out here in the first place."

(On the strong finish to his college career)
"At the beginning of the season, I was dealing with some nagging injuries, but college already happened. I'm just happy to be in the league and be a pro now and start playing like a pro."

(On whether he ever imagined you'd be an NFL draft pick)
No, but I knew I was motivated to be in this position, which drove me to do the things I've done."

(On how he would characterize himself as a player)
"I'm a hard worker, a team player, a leader and someone who's going to go out and try his best every play."

(On the relationship he has with your former college and current Patriot teammate D.J. Foster.)
 "D.J. is a great guy. One thing I really noticed about D.J. when I switched team from UCLA was that there was no ego between me or him and I think that made for a better relationship on and off the field. With that, we were able to perform well and it's a blessing that we're both here."

(On where his motivation comes from)
"My motivation would have to come from my family. Just really right now, I'm trying to be the best I can for my teammates, so family and my team, because without those two, I wouldn't have any motivation." 



(On if there are any similar team aspects between football and the book club)
"Well, football is completely different than a book club in hundreds of different ways, but it's all team. I feel that in both places."

(On how the book club brings a team atmosphere)
"As far as being on a team, people helping each other [to] be the best that they can be. The focus is different in each area. [In] football the focus is football. The book club is about reading."

(On how difficult it has been to get acclimated to the media here)
"This is just about doing what's best for the team in every area, regardless of if that's on the field or talking to the media."


(On if majoring in medicine at Vanderbilt means that is something he'd like to pursue after football)
"Most definitely, yeah. Most of the people in that major are guys that are going to go on and pursue some sort of professional healthcare careers like medical school, optometry, being a dentist; whatever it is. So, after football or possibly in the offseason I'd like to pursue my MBA in healthcare management and then after I do that kind of go from there. Yeah, that's what I'm thinking."

(On what the first few days have been like here in New England)
"It's been incredibly fun. Like I was saying earlier, this has obviously been a dream of mine ever since I can remember playing football for the first time so to finally be here and doing it and looking around and seeing the Patriots' logo everywhere, being in the stadium, it's a really surreal feeling. Honestly, I couldn't be happier to be here."

(On if he's had time to spend around his fellow rookie tight end Bryce Williams)
"Yeah, we've been around each other a lot obviously being in meetings together."

(On if they've formed any kind of friendship thus far)
"Yeah, definitely. I really like Bryce. He's a really good guy. It's kind of nice having another guy coming in with you, same position, because you can kind of help each other out, feed off each other, quiz each other on certain things, so that's been really nice for us."



(On always being ready to play wherever the team needs him)
"I'm just trying to put the team first. That's something that coach [Bill] Belichick and the whole organization has preached. The team is bigger than me and anything I can do to contribute to benefit the team I am willing to do."

(On if playing every offensive line position in college makes it easier to transition to a team like the Patriots)
"Yeah, I think the experience definitely helps. Like I said, versatility is great on the offensive line and I think it has helped."

(On the difficulty of being a versatile offensive lineman)
"Just practice and repetitions and studying the playbook to make sure you know the assignments of all five guys on the [offensive] line. It just comes through hard work."

(On what it's been like in New England for him so far)
"Great. It's awesome. The organization is great, the people are great. There's just really a passion for excellence and winning and I couldn't be happier of where I am."

(On his approach to try and absorb everything about the organization)
"I'm trying to take it all in. Not taking too much [in] at a time, but day-by-day, small improvements and doing the best I can do."

(On if anything has surprised him since getting to New England)
"Nothing has been really striking or anything. Being a professional football player is a lot of hard work. Put the time in and it's a big commitment and I'm down for it."

(On having his college quarterback Jacoby Brissett here with him)
"It has been great. He's a great teammate. He's got all of the things that you would want in a quarterback. He's a leader, he's a great guy and I couldn't be happier that he's here."

(On his experience playing with Brissett)
"You love playing for him. He'll help any football team that he's on. I'm really happy he is here."

(On what makes Brissett special)
"His work ethic and his desire to win. You can always just see it in his eyes and he puts in extra work and he's just that guy you want to play with."


(On meeting Rob Gronkowski)
"I've met quite a few people. It's nice seeing everybody and getting to say we're teammates. It's nice just to be on the team."

(On learning from Rob Gronkowski)
"Right now, I'm just trying to take information from anybody, however I can get it to help me out."

(On star-gazing players you might have looked up to)
"It's neat, but we're teammates now, so that's how I look at it."

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