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Transcript: Eric Decker and Rob Gronkowski Press Conference 8/7

Patriots wide receiver Eric Decker and tight end Rob Gronkowski address the media during their press conferences at Gillette Stadium on August 7, 2018.


Q: This is the first time we get to talk to you. How excited are you to be a New England Patriot?

ED: Very excited. You know, this is quite an opportunity. It's a place really all offseason that I would have loved to end up and I'm kind of happy it worked out the way it did.

Q: What have these last couple days been like for you trying to learn the system and meet the guys?

ED: Yeah, I mean it's a period of acclimation. I've got so much respect for everyone on this team, everyone in this organization, so getting to know everybody on a personal standpoint. Try to be a good teammate, learn names, know where I'm going around the facilities. The biggest thing is just getting the playbook, studying - I've been doing a lot of that the last couple days and just trying to catch up with everybody. 

Q: After being a Jet and a Bronco, what's it like seeing the inner workings of the Patriots?

ED: Well, they do it the right way. There's no question why they consistently win, why they're consistently on top. Just the way they work. Every detail, everybody throughout the building does their job to the best. It's quite fascinating to be a part of it and just trying to fit in. 

Q: Is there any similarity with what they're doing here on offense compared to back what you did with Josh McDaniels in Denver in 2010?

ED: There is. You know, there's obviously things that change over time but there's some carry-over that I was able to take and quickly learn. And then there's a lot of new stuff too that, you know, I got to kind of catch up on and get ready to go. 

Q: What is your relationship with Tom Brady and did you have a relationship with him before you got here?

ED: I didn't really know him personally before. Great guy though. Trying to have conversations with all of our teammates and trying to get to know everybody. But you know, it's important between receiver and quarterback to understand each other, to build that trust and that's something that over time, we just got to keep working.

Q: How about your first impressions from working with Tom Brady? Can you describe the working relationship?

ED: He's one of the best, if not the best. Just the way, again, he goes about his business. Detail, takes care of himself on the field, again, detail-oriented, commands in the huddle, pushes people, keeps you accountable. Things that you want in a leader and it's been fun to be his teammate these last few days and kind of learn how he carries himself as a player and things that I can take and help myself.

Q: Anything stick out in the last few days now that you're getting to know him as a player and a teammate?

ED: Yeah, just a good guy. I mean I expect what I kind of got, just a good guy, a good teammate, fierce leader, big-time competitor and a guy that we depend on a lot.

Q: What's your relationship like with Josh McDaniels?

ED: Josh drafted me in Denver and gave me an opportunity obviously. I got all the respect for him. Probably the smartest football coach I think I've had in my career, guy knows his X's and O's, good with relationships, good as far as getting things going offensively so it's been fun being back with him.

Q: How did working with Peyton Manning prepare you for working with Tom Brady?

ED: Same thing. I mean these guys have played a lot of football and they understand how to win, what the formula is and Peyton's the same way. I took a lot of just the habits, you know how he came to work, how he took care of himself physically, the way he watched tape, the way he practiced, the extra work he put in. Those things that translate over to Sunday and I believe Tom's the same way just being around him the last few days. That's something that as a receiver, as just a teammate that you love seeing from that position because that's who's going to carry you and you just kind of follow in his lead and do what suits best for the team.

Q: What can Patriots fans expect from you this year?

ED: It's early. Again, trying to come in, trying to get to know my teammates, be a good teammate. Obviously work hard, know my role, my position - earn one and let it develop from there. I just hope to get an opportunity to play and help this team win.


Q: How does your mentality change now that there's a game coming up?

RG: I mean, we're kind of still in camp so we did a little preparation, but I would say it's still camp mode right now. It doesn't matter if there's a game in two days, you're in the thick of it right now. You're in the grind mode, so that really hasn't changed. Today was another camp day, full camp day, so it's good.

Q: How tough is it to battle through a day like today with the humidity and heat?

RG: I mean, it's definitely tough for sure, but you've got to just grind through it. That's what it's all about. It's the dog days of camp. Nice day today for that - I mean, really sweaty in the first one minute you're out here. I think I was dripping sweat everywhere; my gloves were wet. But, you've just got to grind through it, stick to it and just keep on going.

Q: Did you have a hard time catching your breath working with Tom Brady one-on-one late in the practice over here?

RG: I mean, for sure. I'm not going to lie. You've just got to stick through it, you've got to keep going, you've got to just keep grinding. That's what makes you better. That's what gets you through a camp. I mean, that's what these days are for. The season doesn't start for another month or so. You want to just keep on grinding now, keep on going now so you're ready for the year.

Q: What are your thoughts about Eric Decker?

RG: He's a good player. It's good to see him out here working with the guys.

Q: What do you like about him so far as a teammate?

RG: It's only been about one or two practices but just trying to focus on what I've got to do out of practice, so I really don't get to see much, like looking. But, great guy to have around, great guy to have in the locker room. I've watched him play football before and he's got talent. 

Q: What do you and Tom Brady work on together?

RG: Just running routes. Just getting some timing down. I would say that it's just probably more of a conditioning type of route. Get some extras in while we're all sweaty, out of breath, just to push your body to the next limit in some weather like this, for sure.

Q: Do you anticipate playing in the preseason opener against Washington?

RG: I'm anticipating to play any game. It's up to the coaches and we'll see what they have for the game coming up in two days.

Q: Do you have to challenge yourself in training camp so you don't get bored?

RG: I would say coming out to practice really never gets that boring. Once we're on the field, once we're going, it's always fast-paced, it's always high-energy. Out here, we're always going drill-to-drill and the coaches always have many different drills for us no matter what it is. So there's always something to work on, there's always something to get better and there's always something to improve.

Q: How do you try to up the intensity level when you're going up against the same guys every day?

RG: There's been years when we never went against anyone else in camp, but you've just got to - it's kind of like the same thing going versus them. I mean, we've got great players on the defensive side that we're going versus every day from the starting player all the way to the third, fourth, second player behind him. They're all good players, they're all great guys to work versus, they're all great guys to get better versus when you're competing versus them, so it's very competitive out here every day.

Q: When do you find out if you're going to play in a preseason game? Is it usually the day of?

RG: Yeah, the day of I would say, but you've got to ask Coach on that one. You just never know.

Q: Do you want to play Thursday night?

RG: I'm always ready to play.

Q: Do you feel like the coaching staff has dialed back practice at all?

RG: I feel like it's the same as every year. I mean, it's a grind. It's dog days out here. We're just working hard, getting through it and it's preseason. You've just got to be ready to go when the games come.

Q: What's been your impression of Stephon Gilmore through the first few weeks of camp?

RG: He's a great dude to have around and he's a good player. Works hard, gets better when he hits the field and it's great to see him around. 

Q: What did you do with the two days off from practice?

RG: Recovered. That's the only thing to do during camp, just recover, man. Rest the body, do some extra treatments and get ready for that long haul.

Q: Any favorite video games you played?

RG: Yeah, I did that actually, too, for about an hour. I played Call of Duty: Black Ops. I still haven't gotten into the new one. It was too hard to set up. 

Q: You must be a master at it.

RG: If I'm feeling it, I'm pretty good.

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

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