Even though Sammy Morris is in his first season with the Patriots, he's no stranger to the AFC East. The 6-foot, 220-pound back is in his eighth NFL season and has spent his entire career in the division,with stints in Buffalo and Miami.
Morris is also fresh in the minds of Patriot fans as he set single-game career highs in rushing attempts (25) and yards (123) against New England last December while with the Dolphins.
The native Texan will look to add his talents to an already diverse Patriots backfield, and those talents aren't limited to football. Morris, who was a communications major at Texas Tech, has an artistic side that he shared with us.
ON THE FIELD
The Patriots are the third AFC East team that you've played for. Do you feel like you have a pretty good read on those teams? To a certain degree, just seeing each team twice a year over the years gives you a pretty good outlook. But then again, it's different from year to year, even week to week playing these teams.
You set career highs in rushing attempts and yardage playing against the Patriots last December. Did you look forward to playing against New England? Well, really ever since I've been in this league the Patriots have had good teams and they've had some great defenses and defensive lines. I just take them all the same though. They're all big games when you play in the NFL.
What did you know about the Patriots' running back corps when the Patriots acquired you? Really the only thing that I knew was that they were a talented group with a lot of versatility. I'd talked to some of the guys like Kevin [Faulk] after the games in passing. From afar I knew that they had some ability and watching Laurence [Maroney] in his rookie year I knew that we would be a talented group and be versatile in what we all can do.
What has been the biggest adjustment coming into New England's offense? The hardest thing is just learning the terminology of the offense, but it's really just a great group of guys, offensively and defensively. They make it real easy to fit into the locker room.
OFF THE FIELD
Your father, Samuel Morris II, was a staff sergeant in the Air Force.What's it like growing up in a military family? We were fortunate because we didn't have to move all that much when we were growing up. But even now my brother, who is 29-years-old, is in the Air Force and he just left a couple of days ago on a deployment. It's tough, but you just pray for them and try to keep in contact as much as possible and try to keep their spirits up.
If you weren't playing football, what could you see yourself doing? There are a lot of things I'd like to do. I really would like to get into counseling and I'd like to write some. There have been a couple of screenplays that I've always thought about writing but just never have gotten around to doing. I'd like to see where my mind takes me. I try to focus on those things during the offseason because right now it's all X's and O's.
Do you have any pre-game rituals that you go through? Really the only thing that I have is my music. I have to have the same little favorites list on my iPod.
So what's on that iPod favorites list? It's a bunch of rap. Lots of Jay-Z and OutKast, anything that gets me ready to go.
Who was your favorite athlete growing up? It's probably a tie between Jerry Rice andWalter Payton.
What's your favorite food? A nice steak.
What's your favorite TV show? I don't watch a lot of TV, except for on DVD, but I've got "The Office" on DVD and I watch that a lot.
What is your favorite sport outside of football? Basketball.
AROUND THE AFC EAST
Where's the best place to get wings in Buffalo? Anchor Bar Restaurant. That's where Buffalo wings originated, I think.
What's the best beach to hit up in Miami? That depends on what you're looking for. I've got a wife and three kids so we tend to look for a toned-down beach. Naples on the west side of the state is nice to visit.
What's the best way to spend a day in New York City? I've been just a couple of times so I'm not really the source to tell anyone where to go, but it's a great place to be in.
What's the best thing about living in New England? There's nice scenery. Another thing I like to do is to take pictures and whenever I get an hour or so to hang around, I'll go out, take my camera with me and just drive.
JUST FOR FUN
If you could be a superhero, who would it be? I'm not a big comic book guy, but I like Star Wars a lot so I'd say Darth Vader. Or it'd be pretty cool to be an Imperial Stormtrooper, too.
Given that you're a film buff, if Martin Scorsese wanted to direct a film about your life, whom would you want to play Sammy Morris? I'd say Andre 3000 [of OutKast]. I know most people like to say Denzel Washington, but Andre would be different and he's talented.
You played college football at Texas Tech. What's the Red Raider experience like? We don't get as much pub as Texas or A&M, but I think that we have a lot of school spirit. [Points to the Texas Tech T-shirt he's wearing.]
What's the ideal way to spend a day off? Just hanging out around the house, I'm a homebody. Really, whenever we get a day off, I just do whatever my family wants to do, whether it's at the park or at the mall, stuff like that.