Some quotes of note from Monday’s golf outing
|06.08.09 at 4:29 pm ET|
BOLTON — Here are a smattering from quotes from a variety of players from Monday’s Patriots Charitable Foundation Golf Tournament at the International in Bolton.
Kicker Stephen Gostkowski
On working with new long snappers: I think it’s going smooth so far. You can’t expect too much in minicamps. Once training camps and games get closer, you start seeing a little bit more. But right now, we haven’t had too many bumps in the road. They’re working hard. It always takes a couple of weeks to get the timing down, whenever you have a new guy — no matter how good they are. But I think (holder) Chris (Hanson) has done a real good job of holding and doing a good job of getting in tune with Nate and Jake. They’re working hard — only time will tell who comes out and who is more consistent. But right now, we’re just working on day-to-day operations.
How much can you tell of the difference between the two snappers? Well, there’s a timing difference, and the closer to the game you get, the more you want to work with one guy. But right now, I’m just working on getting my timing down. It’s a matter of tenths of seconds, but sometimes, when I’m at certain time, I kick better. I don’t know why, but that’s just how it is. It’s all about timing and getting into a rhythm. Us kickers are weird about having the same thing, trying to do the same thing each time. Right now, we’re just getting used to each other and feeling each other out and it’s been pretty smooth so far.
How are you feeling? I feel like every time this year during the offseason, I feel like I’m father ahead than I was last year. I’m definitely nowhere near ready to kick in a game, but I feel like I’m better right now than I was this time last year. Last year, I felt like I was better than I was the year before. I feel like its just a part of growing up and becoming a professional and maybe starting to … not practice harder, but put more focus on it earlier. Sometimes, it’s easy just to push it off and wait til training camp. But to be good, you really need to start as soon as they take us out there are let us start kicking. And I’m trying to take pride in what I do every day, not just when it’s time to show up.
On one thing he’d like to improve on: Obviously, you don’t want to miss at all, but sometimes, that’s unrealistic. You never know. You could always have two Buffalo games with 60 mph winds, and you can’t control that. I always just work at consistency. That’s a broad answer, but consistency on everything – hang time, distance, kickoffs, field goals. I missed a short one against Pittsburgh last year, one of the only ones I missed, but I want to cut out all that stuff. Just being consistent. As long as I’m consistent and make the kicks when the team needs me, I’m happy. Numbers-wise and all that stuff, you can throw it out the window. As long as I’m helping the team wins in the games, then I’m happy with the job I’m doing.
Have you talked to Lonie since he left? Yeah, you know, we’ve texted a couple of times back and forth. It seems like he’s all right.
Is he going to pick up the check at dinner with that new contract? He should be — he owes me one. I sent him out to Hawaii, so he owes me something.
Running back Fred Taylor
On the offseason: My offseason has been pretty good. I’m healthy. That’s always a blessing. The transition has been good. The guys … I have a locker room full of good people. They’ve welcomed me in here and anything I need, any question I’ve asked, they’ve always answered them, I’m still trying to find my way, taking it day by day, one day at a time, trying to learn the playbook so I can ply a little faster without hesitation, then I’ll get comfortable with everything and I’ll be ready to play some ball
Any surprises? No surprises – football is football. I’ve been around long enough to know that you get in there, be quiet, shut your mouth, stay humble and just keep moving forward. No real surprises, as of now.
Defensive back/returner Matthew Slater
How was your offseason? It was good. I felt like I got better in a lot of areas, and I’m excited about working toward next season, and just trying to improve each and every day. I’m looking forward to it.
What are some of those things you want to improve on? Well, definitely, being able to hone in on a position this year is going to be helpful, being able to focus on that. And picking up the defense. Obviously, working on my return game stuff with Coach O’Brien has been very helpful. He’s done a lot of things that have definitely helped my confidence and have me feeling a lot more comfortable back there. Just looking forward to having a good year, and like I said, always trying to get better.
How is it working out at safety for you? So far, so good. It’s been great working with Coach Pees and Coach Boyer, and leaning from guys like James Sanders and Brandon Meriweather. And always being able to focus on one thing as opposed to bouncing around like last year, definitely helps. I’m just looking forward to seeing what this season has in store.
On the kick return job being open – is that something you might have your eye on this year? Definitely. I’m going to compete for it and work for it, and they’re going to give me the opportunity to compete for it and work for it, and I’m going to try to take advantage of it.
Wide receiver Greg Lewis
Starting to feel more comfortable with your new teammates or the system? Yeah, day-by-day, I feel more comfortable with the offense and how things are run around here. I’ve been here long enough to know a lot of the guys, the teammates, and just getting to know them a little bit better. This is a different atmosphere to be around guys, and you can build some chemistry, some bonding, a team-oriented type deal. So this’ll be a good thing for everybody.
On the challenges of picking up the offense: I can’t speak for anybody else, but for me, it’s different. I’m not going to say challenging — all the offenses that I’ve been in, you have to study, and this is no different. It’s just a different technique, tactic or however you want to look at it. But all offenses are pretty difficult to understand. You have to put the time in and be willing to work at it to get better and learn the nuances and everything about it.
Biggest surprise? Everything is new to me – that’s pretty much the surprise. I was in Philadelphia for six years, so I’m used to how everything went about there. Now, coming here, everything has changed. I just have to get used to different things and that nature. But everything is a surprise for me. Everything is new.
Offensive lineman Logan Mankins
Any concerns about your contract status? Not at this point, I guess. My focus right now is on football, getting ready for this season coming up, and I figure my contract will take care of itself, whether they give me a new one or move on next year. We’ll see what happens.
Is it something you would prefer to have taken care of ahead of time, or wait and hit free agency? Of course, you always wish you have everything taken care of early, but it’s up to the Patriots what they want. It’s out of my hands. It’s up to whatever they want to do.
Did you ever think about not participating in OTAs? I signed a contract, I’m here to play. Until I don’t have one, then I’ll be here.
You seem remarkably calm about this… The contract? It’s out of my hands right now. I can’t do anything. Whenever we get to it, then we’ll see what I do.
Is New England where you’d like to stay? Oh, yeah. I’ve had a great time here. I like the coaching staff, I like the players. I like the community, the fans. Everything that’s happened to me here has been pretty good so far, so yeah — I’d love to stay here. But who knows if I get to or not.
Any thought about staying away from the OTAs? Was that ever an option? Of course it’s an option, but like I said, I signed a contract. I was the one who signed it, and so I feel obligated to be here and practicing, so when my contract is up, that’s when I’ll move on. … If you’re hurt, you’re hurt. You can’t practice. But if you’re not injured and you can practice, you should be out there.
Is it a personal decision for each guy? I think so. Vince’s situation is different than mine. He’s a year older, he’s played one more year than I have, so he’s looking at it from a different angle than I am. Everything is different for each person — I don’t blame Vince for doing what he’s doing. Vince, he’s a good guy, a good teammate. He’s always been good to this franchise. He has to do what he has to do.
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