PATRIOTS DL RONNIE PERKINS – 2021 DRAFT, PICK 96
April 30, 2021
Q: I was just curious about what your experience is playing out of a two-point stance and how comfortable you feel playing up on your feet versus with your hand in the dirt?
RP: I feel real comfortable playing on my feet. One thing about me in college, just knowing that I would get to this point one day, this was just one of the things I practiced throughout getting better. Just playing as an outside linebacker and playing in a two-point stance. So, I feel real comfortable in it.
Q: How does it feel to be a New England Patriot and what does being a New England Patriot mean to you?
RP: Honestly, it's surreal. My mind can't even wrap around it. Just to get the opportunity to get coached by Coach [Bill] Belichick is the most mind-blowing thing in my head right now. So honestly I'm so excited tonight. I just can't even wait to go in and learn from Coach Belichick, the younger Coach [Steve] Belichick, like I'm just excited for this whole opportunity. I just can't wait.
Q: What do you want Patriots fans to know about Ronnie Perkins the player and Ronnie Perkins the person?
RP: One thing is Ronnie Perkins the player, I just want to say that they'll be getting a great guy. In the long run, I definitely know the Patriots fans will love me. Just from watching the past Patriots defensive greats, I definitely know they will love me and the way I play. Just as a person, they're getting a guy who loves to interact with the community, who loves to interact with the fans, so they'll definitely see me around New England a lot. Like I said, I just can't wait to go out there and get there and get the whole thing, like man, I'm really a Patriot now. I just can't wait.
Q: Any specific Patriots players from the past that you model your game after and look up to?
RP: I'll say Willie McGinest, Dont'a Hightower. I'd also probably say a DB who just left the Patriots – what's his name? Gilmore, Stephon Gilmore, just because Stephon Gilmore, he's a silent assassin. I'd definitely say him because he's a silent assassin, he lets his play do the talking.
Q: There's a cute little story about you putting on cleats at a young age for your love of football. Can you talk about that?
RP: Yeah, so basically I'll try to give you the skinny of it. My dad was a youth football coach so he coached both of my older brothers and really while he was coaching them, I was still waiting to get my opportunity. Basically when I was six, it was my year to start Pee Wee football, so my dad got me my first pair of cleats. I got in trouble for running around the house and scratching the whole house up in my football cleats because I was so excited to play.
Q: What was the circumstances surrounding your suspension in college?
RP: Really just going through some stuff, went through some off-the-field things that I really just had to get figured out as a person. Dealing with some off-the-field stuff that kind of affected me on the field. So really just taking the whole situation and learning from it and taking it into this draft process and learning from that situation like I said. Just becoming an NFL player, learning not to make that mistake again and learning how to deal with that off-the-field issue.
Q: I've got some good news for you, Stephon Gilmore is still with the Patriots so you'll get to see him soon.
RP: Oh, I might get clowned for that one, my bad.
Q: How much did you speak with the Patriots during the draft process and what was that like?
RP: I spoke to the Patriots I wouldn't say a lot of times, but I spoke to them a few times. I would definitely say walking away from the interviews that I had with them, I felt positive that I did a great job in talking to them. Really the whole thing, like I said, I was mind-blown. I wasn't talking to Coach Bill Belichick but I was talking to Coach Steve Belichick and I was really still mind-blown that I was talking to somebody who is part of the Belichick family. You mention that name, that's just one of the most legendary head coaches in the NFL. So just to be talking to his son who will probably be just like him in a few years – definitely talking to him was a huge blessing and I was super excited. Now I'm super excited to go in and play for both of those guys.
Q: What were some of the things they were asking you about? What did they want to know about Ronnie Perkins?
RP: Honestly, really the most they wanted to know was about my personal life, about my home life, how I grew up. They were really just concerned about that and getting to know me as a person, like from the ground up.