As the cliché goes, rookies should be seen and not heard.
That's exactly what Patriots third-round pick Geneo Grissom was trying to do when he met with the media Thursday afternoon at Gillette Stadium. Plenty of smiles. Few words and even fewer quotable comments.
But even Grissom had to laugh when he kept circling back around to another cliché, "just trying to get better every day," to answer nearly every question posed to him.
"I don't want to say the wrong thing," Grissom said with a smile after admitting he was nervous to speak with the gathered media.
In two days of media access Grissom, Malcom Brown, Tre' Jackson, Trey Flowers and Shaq Mason all responded to questions in the manner of well-school Patriots. Plenty of "just trying to get better" and "working hard" answers.
Clearly, Grissom and others are being indoctrinated into the Patriot Way of media interaction while also learning the early ropes on the field and in the playbook.
In terms of the latter, the 6-4, 252-pound Grissom brings impressive versatility to his new job. He played inside and out along the defensive line at Oklahoma, as well as up on two feet. He rushed the passer and dropped in coverage. He stuffed the run and, overall, made plays.
He even spent some time as a tight end, an area he impressed Bill Belichick with during his Oklahoma pro day.
While no rookie ever really has an idea of his potential role in New England at this early point in the process, the possibilities are even more wide open for Grissom. And he acknowledges he's looking forward to see how he's used in whatever reps he gets along the way on the defensive front, with a team and coaching staff that loves to utilize versatility in its personnel.
"Absolutely. I love this game. To have the opportunity to play for a team that does bounce guys around is awesome," Grissom said.
But don't mistake that intrigue with any presumption that he'll even have a role.
"It's an honor to be here. I just came here to do my job and potentially make the 53 man roster," Grissom said.
As he said many times, he's just trying to get better every day. And he's well aware that just because he's new to New England that's no excuse for not keeping up and being ready to work each and every day.
"Even though I am a rookie they are not going to let me play a rookie card," Grissom said. "So I have to be as professional as I can."
He certainly sounded like a true professional Patriots rookie on Thursday.