PATRIOTS TIGHT END ROB GRONKOWSKI
Q: So after a couple days off from the camp, how is it to get back to work?
RG: I mean - a couple days, we got one day, one day that was - couple days would be nice.
Q: On Monday, you had the afternoon off before the night practice.
RG: Yeah, that's true. No, it's going good. We just came off from a day off totally, so I got back out here, went to the grind. Offense, defense, we're just trying to get better. Competing with each other but at the same time be safe out there, keep each other healthy, but compete to try to make each other better every day.
Q: You've talked a lot about how when you feel good, your body feels good, football can be a great game, but when it doesn't it can get miserable I think is the word you used. At this point in camp, six practices in, how would you say it feels?
RG: Feeling great. I mean, I was competing out here. It's hot out, it's humid out, you just got to keep grinding, keep pushing through it. But feeling good, competing, what every coach has asked me to do, got to go out there and do it. Looked like it was a good practice out there today, everyone just hustling, competing, so, good.
Q: You've had three full pads practices. For you, just the position you play, I mean how do you feel strength-wise at the line of scrimmage?
RG: I feel fine. I feel fine. Everything is going good, blocking, got to keep improving every single time. I mean everything is not perfect, I got a lot to improve on, pass game, run game but that's what this camp is for.
Q: How are you and Jacob Hollister helping each other?
RG: Oh, Jake's a great guy, great dude. Mostly plays well, great player and he likes to learn and get better. He wants to be a player that's reliable and it's great to see him learning. He's just a good guy to hang out with and we're working off each other. Helping each other in the pass game, high tempo pass game and all that. So, a great player to be out there with.
Q: What's the jump like from one year to the next as far as trying to get better and improve? I would think you would know much, much more in your second year as opposed to your first year.
RG: Oh yeah. I mean, definitely going into your second year, I felt like you just know a lot more. You know what to expect, you know the playbook, you know everyone's expectations, coaches, the players around you and all that type of stuff. You can feel the chemistry a lot more your second year, when I was going through mine.
Q: Rob, in regards to Jacob, what jumps have you seen from him and your rookie year too?
RG: I mean, I would kind of they're a little same, but I just kind of explained my jump. I'm not sure how he's feeling but from seeing him personally, going out there with confidence, knowing the chemistry with the quarterbacks, hopping in to get some reps. He's doing well and it's great to work with him.
Q: You have a quarterback who's won five Super Bowls, who's going to turn 41 on Friday. What do you get a guy like that for his birthday?
RG: It's just unreal. It's remarkable. You just learn from him and you want to get taught from him. You want to be on the same chemistry out on the field because he knows where you need to be. He knows talent around him, he knows guys around him, he's seen talent from the last 15, whatever, 20 years on. He's played with everyone, he knows how players can get open so when he has something to say, he has something to correct, you got to listen to him too.
Q: Is there anything left to give him for his birthday?
RG: Yeah. It's a secret.
Q: What have you seen from Will Tye?
RG: You really want to know what I got him. I do kind of want to say it, but I just can't. We would all get in trouble.
Q: What have you seen from Will Tye this summer that's made him stand out?
RG: He's a great dude too. He's great. We have a great tight end group through everyone. [James] Develin, the other rookie [Ryan Izzo], Will and we're all working hard to get better. That's what's great about a group to be together. We're all on the same page to work hard, on the same page as our coach. Will's doing great too. He's looking quick and working hard to get open and in the blocking game. So just the overall group, it's good but we still got a lot to improve on.
Q: What have you seen from James Develin? His growth just coming in as a practice squad guy to be a Pro Bowler, a two-time Super Bowl champ is pretty amazing.
RG: Yeah, it is impressive. He works to perfect his craft and he loves it too. He loves the big hits, he loves when the running back has a big run around him and he takes pride in it. It just shows that greatness in him in that category of how he takes so much pride and it definitely rubs off on people.
Q: With Brady, do you see the same fire from him at this age as you've seen in the past?
RG: I've seen the same fire in him since I've been here. I would say probably back in the day he was a little more on you if you didn't get it right, a little bit more in your face but I mean, he's going on 41 now, I don't see the - I feel like he backed off on that a little bit, which is nice. He used to be mean to me and I'm glad he's not to these young guys anymore.
Q: How was he mean to you?
RG: Just was.
Q: How amazing is he though? Are you still amazed at what he's able to do at the age of 41?
RG: Yeah I mean, no doubt about it. He's hands-down just remarkable, it's amazing. At age 41, I mean, there's coaches younger than us - younger than him on the roster. He looks younger than the coaches, he looks younger than everyone. The way he's moving, how just reliable he is at all times is just unbelievable and something to look up to.
Q: You got him a present, or you're about to get him a present: does he have to watch his back? Does it come down to pranking him?
RG: Nah, I didn't get him a present yet but I don't know. Usually, he just loves the game of football so much, usually on his birthday he just wants a good practice day. Lot of touchdowns.
Q: Are you in your second year of doing the TB12 program?
Q: Is it kind of an adjustment with dietary changes, etc.? Is it easier this year that you don't necessarily have to think about it as much? It's like the second year in the offensive system almost?
RG: Exactly. Right on point. No lie.
PATRIOTS LINEBACKER KYLE VAN NOY
Q: How is camp going so far from your perspective?
Q: What have you seen from your defense so far?
KV: As a defense we're just trying to get better. We're not focused on individual stuff. We're just trying to win one game at a time. Right now we're trying to beat the offense every day and compete.
Q: It appeared that you were in a jersey without a number today. What was the reasoning behind that?
KV: I'm too good, so the offense holds me and they ripped my other jersey. They were trying to stop me and they couldn't, so they had to rip my jersey and hold. I got a "no" jersey.
Q: Was it nice to get back to work after a nice day off yesterday?
KV: Yeah, anytime you get a day off that you have to get, it's nice.
Q: What has your time here been like? Coach [Bill] Belichick was complementary of you this morning regarding your growth and leadership here since your arrival.
KV: I'm blessed to be where I'm at. I mean, words can't express how much being here means to me and being with the players that I'm with. I'm really grateful to be where I'm at and playing with the players that I have, and to put that on the line for the fans as well. We're really blessed to be here, and hopefully I show that each and every Sunday.
Q: How much growth have you personally had in your two seasons here?
KV: Honestly, I'm just trying to win games. So, if we can keep doing that I think I'm doing alright.
Q: What has it been like to slide into a leadership role over your time here?
KV: It's interesting. I feel like it's still growing, as you can probably see. I don't really talk that much, so I try to do a more actions and less words type of role. I think it's going pretty well.
Q: Coach Belichick said you've kind of embraced the role of leading the younger guys or new guys because you have that perspective. Is that a role you relish?
KV: Yeah, I feel like I do. When I was a younger guy not many people tried to help me, and I told myself I would always try to help no matter what, even if they're going to try and take my job. I think anytime you can help out and get on the same page, you never know, they could be playing next to you type of deal. So, you always want people to be ready, but I think everyone does that here. It's not just myself; everyone. I was helped when I got here and I feel like I need to return the favor.
Q: What advice do you give guys who are trying to acclimate quickly and get up to speed?
Q: Coach Belichick said players like you are hard to find. How does it feel to hear that kind of praise from your head coach?
KV: Honestly, he's a great coach and that's a very good compliment, but I feel like we have not just me, but so many guys here that are like that. I really feel blessed to be a part of it.
Q: We've seen you swat down some passes in practice during camp. Is pass coverage something you've been working on this offseason?
KV: Yeah, I like talking trash to Josh [McDaniels], the running backs and Gronk [Rob Gronkowski] all the time, so it's fun. Any time you can come out here and compete against Tom [Brady] and that good of an offense each and every day, it gets you better and you have to be on your toes.
Q: How hard is it to get comfortable as a new player in this system?
KV: You can't get comfortable. I'm still not comfortable.
Q: Even with the defense specifically?
KV: Yeah, I mean, anytime you can study and get on the same page and the more reps you get, the more comfortable you get. When I got here I had a lot of reps and a lot of guys tried to help me, so it was good.
Q: Has Tom Brady helped you sharpen your trash-talking skills?
KV: No one's worried about Tom.
Q: What kind of a work ethic do you see from guys like Deatrich Wise and Derek Rivers?
KV: Yeah, that's a good question. Those two guys put in a lot of work. They're here early mornings and they are here late and it's going to show. It might not show as fast as everybody wants it to be, but it'll get there.
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.