Highlights from the Matt Light and BenJarvus Green-Ellis Q&A with the media on Wednesday night
|08.03.11 at 7:56 pm ET|
How happy are you to be back? ‘Hey, look, I’m excited. I’m excited for all these guys that are out here, for all the work both sides did to get this deal done. This is a heck of a time. We’ve been sitting around waiting for this moment and for me and for me personally, my family and everybody else, we’re real excited to be back here in New England.’
Was there ever any double you’d be back? ‘There’s always doubt. Unfortunately, it’s a business and I think throughout the whole process, we were hopeful that this would be the outcome. Like I said we’re happy to be here.’
What was your reaction to them drafting Nate Solder? ‘Hey, competition’s the name of the game. There’s always going to be guys pushing everybody at every level when you have a coach like Bill and the rest of the staff. I think that it’s a good thing. I think it drives all of us, that’s why we’re out here. We’re out here to compete against each other, compete against the opponent and drafting a guy that’s coming to fill in for these old bones, it was inevitable. Hopefully we’ll have some fun teaching him a thing or two.’
Can the new CBA get signed by Thursday? ‘Right now, we haven’t had a conference call. We do have one later this evening. I know that they’re going back and forth right now on some of these issues that are outstanding. Whether it’s player conduct, and things of that nature to the testing, there’s things that need to be ironed out, and I’m sure they will. It was a long process and both sides understood that you had to compromise, you had to at least get to the table to get things resolved, and they’re doing that now like they did in the last couple weeks.’
Any interest from other teams? ‘You know what? There was a lot going on at that time. But at the end of the day, we’re back here where we belong.’
Is it still a crash course coming in with lack of offseason? ‘Things are different right now. I think for the younger guys it’s going to be a little more of a challenge. It’s going to be up hill for those guys for a while. Obviously, we’ve had shortened practices as compared to years past. So these mental reps and things we do in the film room and things of that nature are going to be critical. I think for the older guys it’s going to be a matter of maintaining and knowing what you have to do to get yourself ready and hopefully being able to go out there and do that. Most of these guys we worked out at facilities around here together. Guys stayed in great shape and they’ve come out here and are playing pretty well from what I’ve seen.’
On bringing in Ochocinco and Haynesworth: ‘You know, I’m never surprised at what they do. They bring in quality guys and trust me having played against Albert Haynesworth and knowing what he can do on the field, that’s going to be a big boost for our defensive line. Seeing what Chad can do on the field, that’s obvious as well. I think everybody’s really excited about both of those guys as well as some of these rookies and the other free agents.’
On Ty Warren: ‘It’s always tough. Ty’s a real guy. He’s real in every sense. He’s got a big heart. He did a lot for the community around here and definitely going to be guy that I’m going to miss playing with. Hopefully, he’ll go out there and land on a team where he can go out there and do what he does best. Obviously, he’s a great player.’
On Robert Kraft and the CBA: ‘I think from Day One even if I went back to last season, it was always get the lawyers out of the room, let’s get together, let’s sit down, let’s have a real conversation. And I guess it’s a hard thing to do, but he was the only one who was really able to make that happen. I think what you saw with Saturday and some of the other guys on the executive committee, they’re reaction to his involvement speaks volumes. I know when we went to the meetings, they let me know how important it was to have him in the room and what kind of leadership and just real experience he brought to the whole conversation, which was really the thing that was lacking for a long time, so we’re all grateful that that happened.’
On competing for job: ‘I’m pretty sure there’s always been a guy right there chomping on my heels. Competition drives everybody. There’s going to be a lot of competition up front on that offensive line and like always, the guys that go out there and perform the best will be the ones that will be on the field.’
Was there ever any doubt you’d be back? ‘I’m just happy to be back.’
But did you think about where you might end up? ‘No, I just prayed and left those things to my agent. I’m just happy to be here working as a Patriot.’
What were your offseason workouts like? I know you did some boxing. ‘I did a little bit of boxing, but most of the time when it got time for football in April and May, I went down to Orlando with Coach Tom Shaw, who use to be a strength and conditioning coach here, so it’s kind of some of the same things that I’ve been used to.’
Since the running back group is a pretty close-knit group of guys, what was your reaction when you found out both Sammy Morris and Kevin Faulk were coming back? ‘I was happy for both of those guys. Of course, I kept in close contact with them throughout the whole offseason. I was happy that they came back.’
What are your thoughts on this running back group as a whole with Shave Vereen, Stevan Ridley, Danny Woodhead, Kevin Faulk and Sammy Morris? ‘I think it’s just going to be fun for us to get out here and, just like I said, work hard every day. No one can really predict the future; we only can come to practice and put our best foot forward out there at practice and work hard.’
What were your emotions walking in here for the first time after the lockout? ‘I was happy to see everybody. We were all happy to see [each other]. Really, my emotions were just to get to work and get ready to start working on this 2011 season. But like I said, it’s going to be one practice at a time and taking it step-by-step.’
What were your thoughts when you saw that they drafted two running backs? ‘Coach is going to do whatever he feels will help the team win, and whatever he does, I always support it.’
The first couple years when you came in you were kind of quiet and now you’re more of a leader. Do you feel more comfortable being a vocal leader now? ‘I don’t know if I would say I was quiet. I might have been quiet to you guys [the media] because I wasn’t talking to you as much.’
A lot of fans would like to see you here for a long time. Is you coming back just on that restricted free agent tender or was there a longer arrangement? ‘Like I said, I let the [agents] and everybody else handle the contracts. Of course, I’m keeping the contract situation out of the news. I’ll let them handle that.’
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