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Patriots Training Camp Quotes - 8/16/2012

Posted Aug 16, 2012

Various New England Patriots players addresses the media following Training Camp practice at Gillette Stadium on Thursday, August 16, 2012. Read their partial transcripts below.

PATRIOTS TE ROB GRONKOWSKI

(On if he feels he is getting back to normal following his ankle injury)

“Everyday you’re going out there and you want to improve. From the beginning of the camp, to this day I feel like I’ve improved a lot from where I started at. It’s just great going out, competing against everyone. Going out there every single day you get the speed of the game down more, you get the chemistry down with the quarterbacks more and just overall you get better just being out there facing competition every day.”

(On whether missing practices makes it difficult to get right back into the swing of things)

“Yeah you definitely never want to miss any practices and obviously there’s always a setback when you miss a couple. You never want to and that’s the number one thing, to always get out there and practice and get your conditioning right and always have the chemistry with the offense.”

(On what he has seen from fellow Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez)

“Aaron? You always see a lot from him, he’s very versatile. He’s a great athlete who can play basically anywhere they ask him to. It’s great playing with him, you learn so much from his quickness, from his bursts, how he gets open and just seeing the same old Aaron you have the last two years – just a very good player.

PATRIOTS WR DEION BRANCH

(On if this camp is more competitive for him because of the depth at the wide receiver)

“No, I’m competing every year. Every year man I’m going to come out here—and that’s the fun part about the game—you get to come out here and compete against your teammates, score against the defense and also do some things with the guys you same the same room with. But overall I love it man, I love it.”

(On if it means anything to him that he has been playing with the second and third team units at times during practice)

“No that’s the biggest thing before we came in, that’s one thing that coach made clear, ‘You guys are going to be with different groups of guys.’ He wants to see guys work. It’s not about what group you’re in, just go out there and get your job done. Do what you’re asked of, not who you’re on the football field with. Sometimes you see Ryan Mallett in there with the first group. Does that mean he’s going to start? I mean I don’t know. That’s Coach Belichick’s decision. More importantly it’s not all about what group we’re in, it’s all about getting our work in.”

(On if he was held out of the Saints preseason game because of a physical issue)

“It was a coach’s decision. I come out here, do what the coach asks of me and go from there. If coach tells me to do this, that’s what I’m going to do.”

PATRIOTS LB ROB NINKOVICH

(On if it has been a radical departure this year from his responsibilities last season)

“Well, coming into camp I knew that obviously there were going to be some changes—there’s always change in training camp—so I was able to go to a position I’ve played before, which is defensive end. It’s a little more of go get the quarterback, go get the ball type mentality, so it’s fun for me.”

(On if he feels that he is capable and built to play on the defensive line, especially against the run)

“I’m pretty strong. I’ve always been pretty strong. I think that tight ends I’ve been able to handle them pretty well, tackles, both of them at the same time. I should be alright. I’ve been doing it for a long time and it’s just something that you work on, you get your techniques right, you get your hand placement right and especially in that position it’s more about technique and leverage than it is just brute strength.”

(On if he can feel the defense’s confidence growing as training camp progresses)

“Yeah training camp is supposed to be everyone coming together as a unit and working together to try and improve and kind of get to a point where you start the regular season and everything is going, we’re working together and everyone knows exactly what they’re doing and what their roles. I think that that’s what we’re doing and we’re just trying to get the whole unit together and play as one.”