Q: Did you have any meetings with (Scott) Pioli and (Bill) Belichick prior to the draft and if you did, how did those go?
VW: No I didn't. The only meetings that I had with them were at the combine where we met for 15 minutes and we got a good feel for each other. That is the only meeting that we had.
Q: What was your reaction when you found out it was New England that was going to take you?
VW: I loved it because New England loves to win, they love to play the game and they know a lot about winning. That comes from a background of mine down at the University of Miami. We love to win also and we know what it is like to have good competition and things like that. So when I was announced as a New England Patriot that was the most … I just fell in love right there.
Q: Where you surprised that you lasted that long?
VW: Yes to be honest with you I was, but anything can happen and I am just happy to be where I am.
Q: The call you the "Baby (Warren) Sapp", but what kind of player are you and what do you bring to the Patriots?
VW: I think I am a complete defensive tackle where I can rush the passer or control the line of scrimmage. Wherever they put me in I can fit in, so it doesn't matter.
Q: Can you talk a little bit about your versatility when it comes to the 4-3 or the 3-4?
VW: Down in Miami we play the 3-4 and the four man front just like New England so nothing is new to know there. I will have no problem with adapting to that. Whatever role they want me to play, that is what I will play. It is all about the team, it is all about winning and getting back to a Super Bowl.
Q: Everything in your background suggests warm weather, I don't know if you have seen this place in January, are you ready for that?
VW: I love the cold. My best games came in the cold. I love playing in the cold and when I think of football that is what I think of - cold weather with smoke coming out of the guys mouth. I am up for it. That won't affect my game at all. I think I'll have a (good) career up there.
Q: Can you tell us about what happened over the last two years and how it contributed to your level of maturity?
VW: I lost both my parents in 2002 and a newborn in 2003. It forced me to mature a lot earlier than other people. A lot of kids my age are still kids. With that, losing both parents and having a daughter I had to do something and my wife and I turned it around and basically that is how I became the man that I am.
Q: What was it like watching other defensive linemen drafted in front of you?
VW: Going into the draft my agent and I talked and we thought for sure we would be in the top fifteen, but as the draft went on (through the first 10) no defensive linemen had been taken. At fourteen Tommie Harris was picked and that was the only defensive lineman picked at that time. I didn't care, but I got kind of frustrated from all of the things that my agent was telling and what he was hearing about teams. I am satisfied and I am happy with where I am at now.
Q: What have you heard about Romeo Crennel the defensive coordinator?
VW: I heard that he is a great coach to play for and basically I can't wait to get up there and meet the team and meet the coaches and just have fun.
Q: What weight are you most comfortable playing at? They have you listed at 323 coming out of the combine, is that an ideal playing weight for you?
VW: Yeah, I can play at 323, whatever New England wants me to play at that is what I will play at. We haven't gone over a specific weight, but whatever they are comfortable with me playing at that is where I will play at.
Q: You have a tendency to get a little bit bigger, has that ever been a problem or is that something that you monitor on your own?
VW: I monitor that on my own. I never got to a point where I was obese, where I couldn't move or I had back problems or couldn't run or couldn't run play it never got to that problem so my weight has never been a problem for me and it never would.
Q: What do you think your biggest challenge will between now and the start of rookie camp?
VW: Basically just do what I have been doing and that's working out. Going into rookie camp this week a lot of running and a lot of mental things, but that will come, that is nothing for me because I've been on top of my game.
Q: Did you see Ted Washington play last year?
VW: Yes I have seen him play and to be honest with you he is a big guy but he could control the line of scrimmage and he could play football. That's the bottom line, can a player play football. I knew Ted when he was at the Buffalo Bills because I watched a lot of the Buffalo Bills when I grew up. I think he was a great defensive tackle. He could control the line of scrimmage, he could keep the line of his 'backers. Whatever it takes to win that is what I am all about. It is all about the team.
Q: Any thoughts about what you will do with that first paycheck?
VW: The only thing I have to do is get me a house for my family and basically that is it. I already have a car. A house is my main concern right now. Getting familiar with the area and that is it.
Q: What is the biggest surprise people will find who haven't seen you play?
VW: I think for my size being able to move with quickness, the explosiveness I bring to the game, the big play-making I bring to the game. When someone looks at a guy my size they think of a fat slob or a guy who can't move, but right here there is none of that. If you saw my game tape down in Miami I was everywhere on the field. I played 60 minutes. I never took a play off and always played full speed and I think it is hard for defensive tackles my size to do that. Either they are getting taken out of the game for a breather or they are not in condition. I never had that problem. I was always in great condition and always had fun playing football.
Q: Talk about mixed emotions throughout the day without your parents being there on draft day?
VW: I woke up thinking of them because this is the day I knew it was going to come after awhile and they knew it was going to come especially my dad. He was a big football fanatic. By them not being with me physically that got to me a little bit, but I know in spirit they are here with me and they will always be here with me. So right now they are looking down on me and they are proud of their son right now.
Q: Are you ready to be on the defending Super Bowl Champions with all of the scrutiny that comes with it?
VW: Yes I am. Being at the University of Miami everybody is gunning for the number one team and that is the New England Patriots, which is us. Everyone is gunning for us. I know what it is like to get gunned for. I know what it is like for a team to come out and talk trash to try and throw you off of your game. I know what that is about because at the University of Miami we used to do that every year so I can just imagine how it is up there so I don't think it is going to be a big deal. I know how to control myself in situations. I am disciplined where I don't get caught up in all the things like that. That won't be a problem at all with me.