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Stephon Gilmore Press Conference Transcript 5/11

Patriots Cornerback Stephon Gilmore addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on Thursday, May 11, 2017

Q: How did it work out that you got the No. 24 from Cyrus Jones?

SG: I just asked him 'can we do it?' and we just came to the conclusion that we were going to switch. He was genuine enough to do it so I was happy for it. 

Q: Did you guys work out anything where you would give him something in return for the number? Or did it not even come to that?

SG: We just - we talked about it. I already knew him from previous years. We just made a decision that we would make it happen.

Q: How did you know him?

SG: Playing at Alabama. We had mutual friends and we hung out a couple times. 

Q: Is there any significance to the No. 24 that dates back to before you began your pro career?

SG: I just always wanted the number. That's what number a lot of guys I looked up to wore so that's one number that I always loved.

Q: Do you include one who played here a few years ago?

SG: He [Darrelle Revis] was a great player. He did a lot of great things in the league. He's another great one that wore the number.

Q: Who are some of the other players that you looked up to that wore No. 24?

SG: People from my hometown like Johnathan Joseph. Sheldon Brown is from my home town. Champ Bailey was one of my favorites. I just always loved the number growing up.

Q: What have been some of your impressions?

SG: It's fun. The biggest thing that I noticed is that the guys welcomed me. [They're] some great teammates. The secondary welcomed me in and they said if I have any questions to ask them. I'll hit the ground running and do whatever I can to help the team. 

Q: How would you describe the atmosphere of the offseason program?

SG: It's fun. I'm just trying to take it one day at a time. Everything is new to me. I've got good teammates so they always give me a warning or let me know what's the next step. It's always good having them.

Q: You mentioned your teammates said you can ask them any questions you have. Have you gotten into that part of the process yet or is it more focused on working out and getting in shape?

SG: It's more working out and stuff like that. It's always fun being out there talking to the guys in workouts. Not just talking football, but talking about each other and building that relationship with each other. 

Q: Do you anticipate communication and getting familiar with how your teammates talk out on the field as being a tough part of transitioning to a new team?

SG: Not with the guys that they have here. All the guys are pretty smart and pretty easy to talk to so that will make my job a whole lot easier. 

Q: What are your thoughts on the talent of the secondary now with three Pro Bowlers on the roster?

SG: It's good but I look at it as every year it starts over. You've got to prove yourself every year. That's one thing that you have to go in and try to prove yourself every day and every year. So I'm looking forward to it. 

Q: Has the group been competitive? Have you noticed that at all?

SG: It's a competitive group of guys who are just trying to make each other better in every drill. It's fun doing that. 

Q: Do you think you could potentially be the best secondary in the NFL? Is there a level of pride in trying to accomplish something like that?

SG: We just want to be the best team that we can be. Whatever that goal is, whatever we've got to do to win games, that's what we've got to do to help this team win. 

Q: Was it frustrating over the years playing against this team with Buffalo?

SG: They did a lot of great things playing against them. I'm happy to be over here and learn from the guys and learn from the coaches. [We've] got great coaches. So I'm looking forward to it. 

Q: Were you surprised how quickly the Patriots acted once free agency opened up?

SG: You just never know with that type of stuff. I was just sitting back waiting to see who was going to call. I was excited that they called me. I was humbled. I heard a lot of great things so I'm just happy to be here. 

Q: Did you hear some of those things from past teammates?

SG: I didn't really talk to them before. It was more just once I signed here those guys just hit me up and told me what to look forward to and how can I fit in. They were being great teammates by doing that. 

Q: What were some of the things they might have suggested about fitting in and that you could look forward to?

SG: Just seeing the guys, you know - as far as taking care of your body, getting the proper treatment, working out, things that I need to help myself be better. 

Q: We've noticed that you have been getting out and experiencing the community. What has the reception been like from the fan base?

SG: It has been fun. I'm just trying to go around and see my surroundings. It's a new city. I didn't have much of this at the previous place I was at. It's fun. I always go with my teammates so that's just building another relationship with them, talking with them at the games and going out in the community. It has been good.

Q: What do you think will be the biggest transition from playing with the Bills to now playing with the Patriots?

SG: I don't know. I'm just trying to take it one day at a time and learn from my teammates. I really can't answer that now but I'm pretty sure there are different challenges every year. You've got to learn how to deal with it.

Q: What was your reaction to the Patriots keeping Malcolm Butler now that you guys are going to play together in the secondary?

SG: It's going to be fun. I know he's a talented player but I just try to stay in my lane and handle the things I can handle. It's a competitive group so I'm looking forward to it.

Q: As a fellow cornerback, what qualities about Malcolm Butler have stood out to you?

SG: He just competes no matter what. He just competes to the end of the play. I mean all the guys do in the secondary so that's one thing that stuck out to me. 

Q: Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon, Malcolm Butler, Patrick Chung - those guys have been playing together for a long time. Does that make the acclimation process easier for you as a new guy?

SG: They definitely help, those guys. [They're] veteran guys who've been around and played a long time. When you have those type of guys back there it allows you to come in and ask questions and try to do the best you can to communicate with them and make plays.

Q: Is there pressure on that group to perform?

SG: There's only pressure if you make it. You just go out and work hard and do your job and rely on each other, trust each other. If we do that I think we'll be good.

Q: Do you like the Boston big city life? What are your impressions of that?

SG: I haven't been up there much. I usually stay in the Foxborough area. It's a good city, great fans, good teammates. I'm definitely looking forward to it. 

Q: Could you feel the big time sports feel when you were at the Celtics game?

SG: Yeah, it's a big atmosphere. I never - the fans were crazy. They're [the Celtics] winning so that makes it even better. So this could be fun.  

Q: Are you an NBA fan?

SG: Yeah, I watch it. Not really like a 'watch every game,' but I watch the NBA. I played it growing up. It's fun. 

Q: How much did you enjoy the basketball success for your alma mater this year?

SG: Yeah, it was big. Dawn Staley is doing a great job with the girls and Coach [Frank] Martin is too. It was fun watching them win games. 

Q: How many other offers did you have in free agency and was it an easy decision to pick the Patriots over the other potential teams?

SG: There were a couple teams that wanted me but I let my agent do his job. They wanted me. It was an easy decision. 

Q: Did you have any knowledge about Ty Law who played for the Patriots? If you do, what are your thoughts on him?

SG: He's a great player. [He] made a lot of great plays in the league. [He's a] Hall of Fame player. His name speaks for itself.

Q: Were you aware that he wore No. 24 here?

SG: Yeah, I knew that but it has always been my favorite number anyways.

Q: How has your perception of the team and the people who make it up changed since you've had the chance to spend some time with them?

SG: It's pretty much what I thought. [They're] a close group of guys that play for each other. A lot of people have good relationships with each other on this team so that always makes it better when you've got a good relationship with the players you play with. They're going to help a lot with me coming in and doing whatever I can do.

Q: Can you see if a team has a lot of unity or cohesiveness when they're out on the field?

SG: I think you can see it when everybody is doing their job and playing for each other. Most of the time that's the team that wins. You can always see it from the other side or even if you're the team that's doing that. 

Q: What's your reaction to the number of moves the team has made?

SG: Those guys are good players but you still have got to prove it every day, prove it every game. [We] just have to come out hungry every week and be the best you can to do whatever you can to help the team win.

Q: Brandin Cooks said at one point that there may be a race between the fastest guys on the team. Is that something that you want to get involved with?

SG: Yeah, I think I could stay in that with them. He's definitely fast. It'll be a good race. 

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