Center David Andrews
Q: How has it been since being back in the building?
DA: Yeah, you know, it's been a good five weeks. We've got a lot of guys out there, now we've got some new faces in there with the rookies coming in, and I think we've had some good work and we'll pick up next week here in OTAs.
Q: How does it feel to have three new players from Georgia on the roster?
DA: Yeah, it was really awesome to see that. I remember when those guys came in and saw them get to do their journey there and now get to see this year for them. It will be fun. They're some good guys, they work hard, so I'm happy for them and very excited.
Q: What was it like on draft night when you saw two Georgia players get drafted?
DA: I was in bed. My wife stayed up and watched it. I was in bed and I saw Isaiah [Wynn] get drafted and then I passed out. She came busting in the room about Sony [Michel] getting drafted, and at that point, I really didn't care. I was just trying to get to sleep, but - no, I was very happy for them. It was awesome to talk to them. They were here the next day. I didn't really get to see them, but it's good to see them around, see some familiar faces.
Q: How much did you overlap with them at Georgia?
DA: Just a year, but Sony played a lot for us that year. I knew Isaiah would be a good player coming in, just watching him. He's very natural and stuff like that. And then we kept in touch at Georgia, you know. We had a big group message with a bunch of linemen, so he was always in there. Yeah, so, it was really cool to see that.
Q: Did Isaiah Wynn play next to you on the line at all?
DA: Yeah, he played some guard with me when we were there, but just kind of in and out through there. But, yeah, when I was there, that's what he did.
Q: Could you tell then that he would be the player he turned into, a first-round talent?
DA: Right then, no, but I mean, over the years watching him, I thought he was just very gifted and it just kind of came natural to him from what I saw. I'm no scout or coach, but I just always thought he was a really good player.
Q: Were there signs that Wynn's personality or coachability would make him a good fit in a culture like this?
DA: Yeah, Isaiah's got a great spirit, a great smile. He's just laughing, having fun, but he's very good at knowing when it's time to go to work, and you could see that when he was a freshman and things like that. I know he's got a lot on his plate right now. You know, we've all been there and that's just part of it. You want to see guys work through that and keep pushing. That's just part of the learning experience as a rookie.
Q: What stuck out to you about Sony Michel during the year you were with him?
DA: I thought he was a great player. I think being a senior and watching freshmen come in that work hard and things like that, those kind of attributes stick out a little bit more than on the field. I mean, obviously, he was a great player, but I think that stuff - just his work ethic, kind of head down mentality, getting the work done and not getting overwhelmed or anything like that - I think that just carries over now. It's just even more of a workload and real-life pressure - you know, bills, things like that.
Q: Do you try to watch Georgia games with a keen eye on certain players?
DA: It's getting harder and harder. I mean, you look up there, you're like, "Man, I don't even know who these guys are." This is kind of the first year where you just, a lot of guys kind of leave in the last group that you really knew. I think there's maybe like two or three now that I played with, so it's definitely weird seeing guys out there and guys in numbers that you played with. You're like, 'That's not so-and-so,' or whatever. But it's definitely been fun to watch, especially with their success they're having.
Q: With five former Georgia players in the locker room, does that clinch it that Georgia is the "top dog" in the locker room?
DA: I mean, I think that's been pretty obvious for years. No, you know, it's great to have these guys, and it's just a testament to them and how much they work.
Q: Is Georgia the new Rutgers?
DA: Georgia the new Rutgers? Oh, I'm going to have to talk to Dev [Devin McCourty] and Du [Duron Harmon] about that and all those guys. We might be now. We'll have to see.
Q: How are your goals or ambitions for the offseason program different than when you first got here?
DA: Yeah, I think you're always trying to learn things, it's just more in depth. I mean, really, when I came in here, I was just 'what did I need to do?' You know, now learning more on a whole 'how is this affecting receivers' and stuff, and then you can work on your craft a lot more. You know, more personally, if I took a bad step as a rookie, I didn't really know I took a bad step. But now I can feel stuff, little things like that, or be like, 'That wasn't a good block. I know I can do better,' and certain things you can work out. And also, you just want to get in the best shape you can - the best physical shape, condition - but also be as healthy as you can be, because that's really staying out there and working is where you can get better.
Q: Is it any different not snapping to Tom Brady right now?
DA: You know, whoever's back there, my job is just to keep it as consistent as I can be. That's what I try to do, and they do a good job of doing that on the reverse end. We all just try to be consistent and do our job, and when we do that, a lot of good things will happen. So, I think just try to be as consistent as you can be - you know, you can't worry about what's going on around you, you've just got to focus on your craft.
Q: A former Bulldog and Patriot, Andy Johnson, passed away yesterday. Did you get to know him at all?
DA: No, I did not. But I feel for his family and their loss, but I never really had the chance to meet him. But I heard a lot of great things from people that I know that either played with him or around the era that he did.
Q: Since we last saw you at the start of February, has anything exciting happened for you outside of football?
DA: No. You know, we got a new puppy, but no kids or anything like that. So, no, pretty uneventful - took some rest, some time to refocus and then we got back to work. You know, it's kind of great - you want to get away and all this stuff, and a week away from the guys, you're ready to get back with them and stuff like that. I think that's what makes this sport so great is those bonds and things like that. So, it's kind of like the first day of school getting back here excited, seeing everybody, so it's definitely been a good five weeks working with everybody.
Q: Did you get one of those little lap dogs?
DA: No, I got another German Shepherd. They think they're lap dogs, but no, I got another little black German Shepherd.
Q: How challenging will it be without Nate Solder? As a captain, is there anything you can do to help this line move forward?
DA: You know, it's tough. Nate was such a good person to me, a good leader, a guy I looked up to and learned a lot from. You know, the time I was here, the guy did it the right way. And just seeing how he carried himself with everything he dealt with outside of this building, I have the utmost respect for him. Unfortunately, the NFL is a business at the end of the day and it happens. We've been pretty fortunate to kind of be a single group kind of my three years here and stuff like that. So, that was definitely tough, but at the end of the day, it's going to happen and I think it just - everyone's got to come in, we've got to go to work and you can't sit around. Life's got to move on, and that's what we're planning to do.
Q: What do you remember about playing against Danny Shelton?
DA: He's a big guy. He's a very big guy. No, he's a good player. I don't really remember their scheme that much and stuff, but he was a great player - a big guy, ate up a lot of blocks and he's not very easy to move. But, he's got a lot of movement, I do remember that. For someone that big, it wasn't just sitting in there and taking up space. You know, he can move very well and he was active.
Q: What's it like to have a fellow Georgia offensive lineman in the group?
DA: Yeah, it's awesome. Isaiah is a great kid. I'm excited to see what he can do. I know he's got a lot on his plate right now, but that's just part of it. That's being a rookie, and you want to see how they react to that and move forward. So, we're very excited to have him and excited to see what he can do.
Q: Were all the Georgia players on the team recruited by Coach Mark Richt?
DA: Yes, we were.
Q: Is there something that you all share, whether personality or character, that may have helped you at Georgia and caused the Patriots to be interested in all of you?
DA: That's a psychology question. Man, I don't know. You know, no, I don't think there's really like one thing. I think those are some great guys. They all work really hard. They've been great teammates to me, so that's something you can always respect, and it's guys like that you love having in your locker room and playing with.
Q: What has it been like this offseason having different players line up beside you than in previous years?
DA: Yeah, I think it kind of goes back to the whole quarterback-center exchange. It's part of that dependability as a group. We're building that right now, but we've got a lot of guys that have played football here for a while, so they know what to do, they know how to do it, and so when that comes up, you try to keep it as not a bumpy road or transition. It's smooth, it flows, because they know the terminology, they've had reps at it. So, when you get up there, it's like just communicating. So, that does help a lot. We've had a lot of guys that have been here and know the system. Now we do have some new guys, and that's our job to bring them along and get them comfortable and to build that trust and dependability among the group.
Q: What's it like having both Josh McDaniels and Dante Scarnecchia back this year?
DA: Yeah, it's great. They're both great coaches, and I've really enjoyed my time with them. Having them back this year has really been awesome to see. Like I said, they're two of the best coaches I think I've ever been around. I haven't been around that many, but in my opinion, I think they're two of the best. So, why not be able to play for them?
Defensive Lineman Danny Shelton
Q: How is it going so far?
DS: Going great. I feel like my body has adjusted now to all the running, man. It's pretty crazy but I like it.
Q: Have you adjusted so far to the culture here? Have you dived into the defense and started to get familiar with that?
DS: Yeah, I think I'm doing pretty well so far as far as getting adjusted to the culture and adjusted to the defense. We're all on the same page as far as coming in and learning the defense and just going through walkthroughs together.
Q: With a new team, how different are OTAs now than say last year after spending a few years in the same place?
DS: I'd say the first difference was just coming in and not really knowing anyone but after being here for three, four weeks now I feel like we're all pretty good friends now and pretty comfortable around the guys now.
Q: How about the playbook and just learning what they want you to do?
DS: Same thing. Yeah, I think it's to the point now where that's where the professionalism comes in and you just handle it on your own or you ask questions when you need to ask questions. I think it's been great so far communicating with everybody.
Q: Is the conditioning a radical departure from what you were used to?
DS: Yeah, definitely. I think any other team would say the same thing but then again, I've only been on one team and I've only done one offseason program. Now that I'm here it's pretty cool to change it up a bit and just watch my body change.
Q: What were those first couple days like when you had to experience the conditioning?
DS: It was a struggle. I think it'd be a struggle for anybody coming in and not knowing how much running the program asks of you. It's been great so far though.
Q: The Patriots are bringing in Joe Kim to work with the defensive linemen. I saw that you have worked with him in the past. What was your experience like working with him?
DS: I mean Coach [Joe] Kim is a great guy, but then again it's not my area to talk about him so I'll just let Coach Bill [Belichick] have that. But he's a great guy.
Q: Have you been introduced to the hills on the practice field yet?
DS: Not yet. I waved by it. Just getting my mind ready for it. We haven't gotten to that part but it is deceiving. It doesn't look too tough but just hearing from the guys it's something that you don't want to mess with.
Q: You said you've kind of watched your body change as you've been doing some of this conditioning. Has that been a focus for you? Is losing weight, for instance, a focus for you right now?
DS: Yeah, definitely because I'm usually up after the season and doing my workout program and getting back down. But as far as my body changes and just adjusting to the offseason program that they have - the running and the lifting - it's seeing my body adjust to it and improve weekly.
Q: Do you have a specific number that you're targeting in terms of weight?
DS: 335 [pounds]. Yeah, I mean it's been my number since I started in the league and it's a number that coaches like me at and so I don't have a problem with it. But we'll get to it.
Q: Are you still working towards that?
DS: Yeah, I'm still working towards it but no rush. Just right now it's enjoying this time with the guys and learning the defense and getting great work in.
Q: Do you think ultimately you might be helped in terms of endurance in games as well?
DS: Yeah, I think that's what I'm more focusing on. That's what I like about the change is that I know that my body will be more trained for that endurance and trained for fourth quarter, overtime. I'm excited for the rest of the year.
Q: Did you play at 335 pounds in previous years?
DS: Yeah. So that's the number that I've always been at. Obviously I'd get up towards the end of the year but over here it's going to be more of the standard that I'm going to keep myself at - expecting to be at 335 and dominating at 335.
Q: You're a guy known as taking up space on the inside and defending the run. What would you like to see out of the pass rush aspect of your game?
DS: Really it's just a matter of stopping the run first and having the opportunity to rush the passer. I'm going to establish that first, make sure that I'm the guy that they brought me in for to stop the run. I'll also help out wherever they need me at or wherever they need me. If it's to push the pocket and create some opportunities to make big plays then I'll do that but as of right now just continue to do what the coaches ask for and continue to learn the play book.
Q: Have you watched much of Vince Wilfork in the past or even more recently trying to glean some things from the way he played the position in the past?
DS: Yeah, definitely. Growing up being a fan of him and being here now, we always see film of him running the defense a certain way and running a play a certain way. It's pretty cool to see that and be in this environment.
Q: You said earlier that you didn't really know any guys here when you joined the Patriots. Did you have any experience with Malcom Brown going through the draft process and has he in particular been helpful since you arrived here?
DS: Yeah, me and Malcom [Brown] we never really saw each other during that combine and draft process but we always knew of each other, respected each other's game and even now. It's been a really cool relationship - Malcolm, Trey Flowers, even Lawrence Guy. We're all kind of at that point in our career where we know of players and we respect each other's game. It's not hard to make friends when you know and you respect the guy's game.
Q: You knew Harvey Langi before you came here, right? How did you get to know him?
DS: Well Harvey, he's always been a guy that the Polynesian community - everyone is talking about everyone and so Harvey was one of those guys. Growing up he was one of those guys that were the bigger names in the Polynesian community. It's pretty cool to be here with him now and to hear his story and to hang out with him. He's another one of the guys that is really cool and just fun to be around.
Q: You've worn No. 55 which, if I read right, was a tribute to Junior Seau and No. 71 prior to that. I think you're back to No. 71 here. Did you try for the No. 55 or how did that work out?
DS: Yeah, I mean I definitely tried but at the same time it was more of me wanting to play as myself and finally take charge and try to do me I feel like. [No.] 71 was me in college and high school so it's where I'm comfortable. [No.] 55 is also a great number but at the same time I like [No.] 71 as well.
Q: The team didn't pick up your fifth-year option. What was your reaction to that? Is there any connection with a little uncertainty going into year four that maybe there's an emphasis on conditioning for you right now?
DS: Obviously it sucked at first, but at the same time you've got to think of it as an opportunity. For me I'm just grateful for the opportunity to be here for the year and to just be able to try my best to dominate and to put myself out there and see what happens after that.
Transcripts are provided by the Patriots media relations department as a courtesy to the media and are edited for readability. All press conferences are posted and archived in their entirety at patriots.com.