PATRIOTS LINEBACKER ELANDON ROBERTS
Q: What was your reaction on being named a captain this year?
ER: It was a great feeling, of course, to be respected on that level. At the same time, I'm just doing what my job is. Being a captain, it's just another job to do and I'm going to take it with pride and respect the position.
Q: What's on your shirt?
ER: Oh, it's my own little thing. I forgot I had it on, just something I go by and what-not.
Q: What do you mean?
ER: Well, you know, everybody kind of has their own darkgrind. Like you, you guys come and you make a story. When you guys are grinding for a good story or how to take on something, you're in kind of a darkness and you can talk to your colleagues about it, your wife sometimes, your children. Sometimes, they don't always understand that grind and it's nothing on them, it's just your grind is just more to you. Darkgrind, to me, when I'm out here grinding and going day-to-day – all of the personal stuff aside, what I tell my wife or my mom and my dad – I'm feeling like while I'm grinding the way I'm grinding, they'll never understand. It's not a shot at them, but it's just because it's your own personal grind. So, you're kind of always in the dark with it, so it's like a darkgrind.
Q: Do you feel like you could share any part of that with your teammates, and sharing that may have helped you become a captain?
ER: Well, I've been saying darkgrind for a long time, so a lot of my teammates know about it, yeah.
Q: Where were you when you found out?
ER: I found out yesterday during team meeting.
Q: How would you describe your leadership style?
ER: Sometimes I just feel like being a leader is sometimes – you know, when you're doing certain things and when you're helping certain people and when you lead in a certain way – there's no book on how to be a leader. It's just kind of comes. Like I said, it was a humbling experience. My teammates wanted me to be one of their captains, and I'm going to respect the role each day.
Q: What did you learn from Devin McCourty and Dont'a Hightower when you were a young player that helped you become one of the leaders on this team?
ER: To be honest, I learned a lot from that whole locker room. Even though you have your team captains, you have a lot of leaders in the locker room each day. Even though I was recognized – trust me, I feel great about it – but I know there's guys in there, too, that can easily be a team leader, team captain. Just because they don't have the title, I still look at them as a leader. I still look at the ways they're going about themselves, and that whole locker room shows a lot of leadership in it.
Q: How does captain Elandon Roberts compare to rookie Elandon Roberts?
ER: Every day you come to work and you try to grow. Take it one step at a time, one day at a time, and that's me. I feel like from my rookie year until now, it's a lot of growing, and there's still a lot you can do to grow. Each day, I come into the building for my teammates, my coaching staff, anybody in the building, Mr. [Robert] Kraft. I'm just trying to be a better Elandon each day.
Q: Your growth hasn't just been on the field. Can you talk about how your off-the-field experiences have helped you grow as a person?
ER: It's been a great experience this year, even before the season started. I got married to my wife. My wife was pregnant and we just had our first child – a little girl on August 22nd, right before the Thursday night game, so there was some excitement man. Just a lot of blessings. My team knew about it, the coaching staff knew about it, and they were right behind me and excited for me. That's the most important thing, when your family is excited and you come to work and all of your teammates and coaching staff are excited for you. That was a great experience, also. Seeing that child come out, I experienced that for the first time. There's no better feeling.
Q: What was it like when you got to tell your family about being elected captain?
ER: It was great. They were excited. I was kind of focused on the day because at the end of the day we're here to get a job done. When I got back to my locker I had a few text messages, and it was very humbling. I'm definitely honored.
Q: How does it feel to be in the same breath as a captain with some of the storied players who played the position with this honor before you, like Dont'a Hightower, Tedy Bruschi, Willie McGinest and Jerod Mayo?
ER: Like I said, it's humbling because you know the guys that have been in the meetings. It's a role that you shouldn't, and I feel like none of those guys that were in the role, took it lightly. I'm going to do the best in this role for my team.
Q: Are you going to do anything different as a captain or just do what you've been doing because it helped you earn the role?
ER: I'm still doing the same things that I do. That's it. Like you said, it kind of got you there. But with it – it doesn't bring pressure or anything like that, I wouldn't say – but you hold yourself to a different standard because you know your teammates and your coaching staff hold you to a different standard because of that title. So, that's it.