I made the team my rookie year [in 2012], then I got released and put on the practice squad in the middle of the season. That was definitely tough. But in the NFL it depends what you need on the team. You can’t take it personally.
There are some guys that bounce around and go to other teams. I’m still with the same team, going on my third year. It kind of makes you feel good when a team wants you back. But it’s kind of a little frustrating, too, when you’re going up and down.
The way I take [my job on the practice squad] and the way the coaches here tell you to take it is that what you do is just as important as what the guys that are playing do. We’re giving them the offensive look [of the opposing team] or the defensive look. If you’re out there slacking and not giving a good look, then you’re not preparing them to do a great job.
Any time you have experience, it’s good. When I was a rookie, everything would happen so fast. You don’t know what to expect. You don’t know what’s good. You don’t know what’s bad. You’ve got to catch it on the fly. Right now, I’m going into [the preseason] and I know what I need to do. There’s no shortcuts when you’re with the Patriots.
When I’m not training I try to spend time with my wife, because during the season it’s crazy and we don’t really have that much time. I got married March 2. So we’re newlyweds, but we’ve been dating since 10th grade. She’s a baker. A lot of guys on the team love her baking. Sometimes I’ve got to slow her down. She knows right now that it’s crunch time. So, she’s cooking a lot of healthy stuff.
(Interview has been edited and condensed.)
FOOTBALL BEGINS The Patriots preseason starts Thursday with a game against the Redskins at FedEx Field. 800-543-1776; patriots.com