Q: How much of a benefit was it playing for a former member of the Patriots' staff in Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien?
NW: I don't really know anything about the structure of what's going on in New England as far as how we run things because I haven't had the opportunity to be within the system and be within the day-to-day process, but I do understand that this is another opportunity for me to play football. Bill O'Brien was a great coach. He was a great mentor of mine and he understood that I was a hard worker and I think that's just definitely the thing that you can take from this organization in New England – that it's just a hardworking group of guys. I'm looking to carry that over and just have an opportunity to play football. That's the main thing that I'm looking forward to and that had a lot of decision on why I signed.
Q: Did you talk to former Patriot quarterback Brian Hoyer at all about what it is like to play here in New England?
NW: We've had conversations last year. Obviously, without me knowing of what the future would hold for me but we just kind of reminisced sometimes about places that we have been and normal talk between guys that have been free agents before and been in other systems and how things are going in certain places that they've been, but there was nothing that was sort of just specific talks about one specific organization. It was more so just reminiscing as free agents and telling those stories about places that we've been around.
Q: What has been your opinion of the Patriots in your time playing against them and watching them?
NW: Well, anytime I've had the Patriots on my schedule I knew it was going to be a tough week for the simple fact that every single team is going to be hardworking and very challenging. They were going to do their homework on the team that they were facing and understand how they were going to go about beating them and it was a difficult time because when you're preparing against a team like that you kind of have to go and look at your flaws. So when I would ever play against New England I knew right then and there that I was going to have to be willing to work a full 60 minute game, I was going to have to be very intelligent on my opponent that I was facing, and I was going to have my work cut out for me. It was a varied situation every single time but I knew that I was going to have to bring my lunch pail to work because that team was definitely going to be a hard working group of guys.
Q: How beneficial is it to be coming to a team whose offense you have some familiarity with based on your time with the Houston Texans?
NW: Well, you know my experience in the NFL has been fortunate but kind of an unfortunate situation being that I have been in different offenses and been the around the league for three other different teams, but it's been very fortunate for me because I have had the opportunity to run across paths of offenses that I have been in before. It'll be very beneficial for me. I've been a guy that's obviously been around the league for quite some time and has had the opportunity to see so many different offenses. Just from the teams that I've been with in the past, you pass some of the great minds across the game so it's really just a matter of obviously it'll help me out that I've had those experiences but it's definitely going to take me getting into my playbook, understanding what's requested of me and what's required of me on every single play. There definitely will be – I have to be understanding of what's going on here, what's going to be required of me here. It's going to take a lot of work and I'm not afraid of it. That's why I'm here. I'm ready to get better and I'm ready to prepare my mind mentally to play this game
Q: Have you had any prior experience with any Patriot players that may have clued you in to what the culture is like around here?
NW: Like I said, I've been around for quite some time now so I have had numerous amounts of friends that have gone in and out of this building whether they may be retired or they just had spent the season here. I will say that out of everybody that I have talked to I will touch on Willie McGinest. I had a chance to talk to him a couple of weeks ago once he found out that I signed and the number one thing that he just told me is "It's going to be good for you because they are going to pay attention to the detail and they're going to get you in the aspect of making sure that you're pushing yourself every single day." Those guys in that locker-room – they work hard every single day and don't take a day off and those coaches – they work hard every single day and don't take a day or a minute off. To be in that type of atmosphere gave me some type of understanding especially not only I'm at this point of my career but in this point of my life to what I needed. I needed a bunch of guys that were going to make me better. Although I'm 32 and although this is my 12th year in the league I do feel that I can get better physically and mentally and I needed to be around a core of guys that can push me to that point. So his advice in itself, and pretty much to sum up what I've pretty much been everything from everybody, this is a hard working group of guys. They're going to be intelligent to the game, they're going to know their opponent and they're going to go out there every single Sunday with the belief that they can get the job done, and that's definitely what I want – to go out there with that attitude to know that my preparation has prepared me for Sunday.
Q: What led to your connection with Willie McGinest?
NW: Well, to be honest that is really not even a connection. Willie and I have crossed paths a couple of times and just honestly I think it's a tremendous amount of respect for each other that we have conversations. It's not literally a connection like that but when I was growing up in this league he was definitely still in the prime of what he was doing and I respected him so much and how he went about the game so it was just one of those times we crossed paths. I think the first time we crossed paths was him [conversing] and coming and having a look at our team and I went to introduce myself and he already knew me. It was just a tremendous amount of respect that I have for him so I had the opportunity to bump into him at the Nike camp in Houston a couple of weeks ago and we also crossed paths then and had a conversation. I think that the relationship would just really be a mutual respect for each other. I think he's a tremendous guy that put in a lot of work in his career. How could I as a younger guy not want to be or follow in those footsteps?
Q: Have you had any interaction with Tom Brady and how excited are you to be playing with him now?
NW: Once again, me and Tom's relationship is just a mutual respect. I've spoken to him after games but I've never really had the opportunity to sit down and have a conversation with him. The one thing that I'm most excited about is playing alongside a guy that has a tremendous amount of passion for what he does. Growing up in this league you understand that everybody is not built that way. I just have a huge amount of respect and obviously excitement about being a guy that's next to a guy that's passionate about what he wakes up and he does every morning. It's definitely going to be an opportunity for me to go and be better in my life. Although I've only seen him on screen I can tell that this guy does not play about how he goes about his life. It's going to be a good opportunity to not only be a better football player but be a better man in that locker room.
Q: Has it been beneficial at all to you that you've seemingly played with a new quarterback every year of your career?
NW: Surprisingly, I think that's helped me tremendously that I've gone through that trial. The thing that it's done for me is people tend to talk about continuity between a quarterback and a receiver so much. Knowing a guy and knowing him but there's also a requirement to do your job and be in the place that you're supposed to be in the time that you're supposed to be there and with so many changing faces of the guy behind the center in the quarterback, for me, it's given me an opportunity to make sure that I was doing my part. Being in the right place at the right time where I was supposed to be and what was asked of me. It wasn't about "I knew that this quarterback knows me so I'm going to cut this route off short." No, this is I've been given a certain depth, I've been given a certain understanding about this route so as long as I do my part then it's his job to get that ball to me and it worked out in that way, so its forced me to perfect myself in order to help the man behind the center. I think it's been a tremendous, it's been a task obviously to not have that continuity, but it's also perfected me making sure that I'm taking care of my business and not looking at someone else and asking "Why didn't you know that I was going to do this or that or the other." It puts a requirement to make me be the best I can be and it'll give him an opportunity to look to me if need be.
Q: Have you had a chance to speak with former teammate Keshawn Martin about what to expect from the offense here in New England?
NW: I've talked to Keshawn when he first got up here last year just congratulating him on another opportunity to play football. To be honest with you, I'm just a person that doesn't get into that because so many people are so different. I'd hate to go and ask another person what do they think about a situation and me leading into that situation with those thoughts and here it is, I'm a totally different person and I can handle it in a totally different way. To answer the question, I don't get in too much of asking players that I may have played with before that may be in an organization I may go to. I don't ask them how was it or how did they adjust or how did this compare to that because I want to go in with my own understanding and my own acknowledgment of what's going to be required of me. I do have a talking relationship with Keshawn. I haven't talked to him in a couple of months but we are OK and good friends and I can't wait to see him, but I haven't gotten around to the opportunity to ask him honestly if it's similar to Bill O'Brien and how they do things because at the end of the day I'm going to have to handle this on my own as a man. I'll take it as that approach and I'll roll with it and I'll figure it out from there once I get into that meeting room in that first meeting and get that installed.