Dillon transcript

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Corey Dillon spoke with the New England media Monday night via phone.**

Q: Are you excited to be coming to New England and happy to be a New England Patriot?

CD: Exactly. I think it is a great move for me. It is a great move for the organization. I am just happy to be a New England Patriot.

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Q: How do you see yourself fitting in with the Patriots offense?**

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CD: Any way that I can. I know they are a predominantly passing team and I know they like to run the ball occasionally and whatever I can do to help the team win is fine with me.**

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Q: Did you have long discussions with either Bill Belichick or Scott Pioli before the deal was made?**

CD: We had long discussions. They just wanted to get to know me and reassure themselves and they concluded that I am a good guy and everything went smooth.

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Q: When did things start to heat up to the point where you thought this deal might go through?**

CD: Speaking with my agent Steve Feldman, I met with him on Friday, and he [Steve] said 'Here is our ideal situation. Look it over and tell me what you think about it.' It was a no-brainer for me. That is exactly what I wanted to do and we just made it happen.

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Q: Was there some contract restructuring that needed to be done?**

CD: Yes. To get me under the cap, I think they were over the cap and my [current] salary would make the deal not happen, so we restructured it in a good manner that is beneficial for both of us. After we did that, everything was fine.

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Q: Where did the perception of Corey Dillon being a bad guy come from?**

CD: That perception came from Cincinnati. To tell you the truth, I am not a bad person. I am just a competitor and I love to compete and win. It just wasn't getting done there. There are a lot of things that were done back and forth in Cincinnati that I left there. That is in the past. What is in the past is in the past. As you see me and as the years go along, you will get to know me and you will recognize that I am a good guy. I am just happy to be a part of the Patriot family and am happy to move forward in my career.

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Q: How hard is it to shed the reputation of being a 'cancer'?**

CD: I don't think it is going to be hard because I wasn't a cancer. It was just a point of my having a deep passion for winning. People view that in a different manner. That is in the past and as you get to know me, you will see that I am good person. I am just happy and excited to be part of a winning organization and I am looking forward to the season.

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Q: What is your perception of Bill Belichick?**

CD: He is a great coach. He is a genius. He is smart. He knows what he is doing. He prepares the team well and I am excited just to be working with him. I think he is, hands down, the best coach in the NFL.

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Q: Can you talk a little bit about coming to a new team especially a team that has won the Super Bowl twice in three years?

CD: Well there really is no pressure on me because the team was basically set and they were winning Super Bowls without me. There is really no pressure on me to come in and have the weight of trying to carry the load. The team was well off before I even got here. My main focus is to come there and go to work and be productive.

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Q: Were there some other teams that were in the mix there that you know of?**

CD: There were a couple of other teams in the fold but as you can see 'if you snooze you lose' and that is basically what happened. I am pretty glad that they did because I couldn't be happier.

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Q: How much did your groin affect your running last year in your productivity and how are you right now?**

CD: It affected me a lot. I think any athlete with a groin injury and trying to do the things that I like to do, cutting and running with a lot of power and speed, is going to affect you in some way. But in the later part of the season, I think the last eight games of the season, the groin was fine and I was healthy. I was back out there running and doing the things that I like to do. It was just a point of getting touches and I wasn't getting the touches that I was used to getting, which was fine with me because it kept me pretty healthy. It helped my groin really heal. Everything, as of right now, is great. I am in great condition. The groin is fine. No pain. No anything. I am just ready to play ball.

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Q: Are you going to come in early and be a part of the offseason workout program**?

CD: Exactly. I will be there soon and get acclimated to my surroundings and meet some of my teammates and try to get into it with the offense.

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Q: What kind of question did Belichick ask you, Corey?**

CD: It was just your basic questions. It wasn't really him asking me questions, but more him trying to get a feel for me and I think he got a great vibe from me and realized, 'Hey, this guy is a good guy and maybe the situation in Cincinnati was just blown way out of proportion.' As we sat down and met for a long time, him and Scott Pioli got to know me, and everything was fine. I think that kind of threw away the perception that I was a bad guy.

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Q: When did you meet with them?**

CD: I think it was Saturday.

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Q: Is it fair to say that you're the kind of running back where the more carries you get in a given game, the more effective you are?**

CD: I think that applies with anybody. I can do what I can do with 10 carries. It just depends on the situation. I think a lot of running backs get more comfortable as the game goes along with more carries, but, like I said, I'm a team player. That team is set. I'm just one of the guys. When I come in, I want to be just one of the guys that helps the team win. Carries and my workload, it really doesn't even matter.

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Q: To just be another guy on a team that has been successful over the last couple of years, to have Rodney Harrison, Tom Brady and Tedy Bruschi, for you not to be the focal point, is this something that you look forward to?**

CD: Being [the focal point], it can get tiresome and it kind of wore on me. Coming to the New England Patriots, there are so many talented guys on this team. I am not going to be the focus point of the offense. You have Tom Brady. He is the best quarterback in the game right now. He has a great offensive line. He has a great receiver core. I don't have to worry about carrying the load. The offense speaks for itself. I think it is a great situation for me because I don't have to worry about all of this other stuff. All I have to worry about it coming in and playing football.

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Q: Scouts have mentioned in the past that your ability to pick up the blitz and the blocking as one of your more underrated characteristics. Do you feel that is a fair way to characterize that, one of the things that doesn't get talked about that much?**

CD: I think so. As a rookie I wasn't that good at picking up the blitzes and the blocks. As time progressed, I got pretty good at it. I worked on it and worked on it hard. I enjoy doing it. Anything that I can help the team in, in any fashion, I am going to do it. If it is picking up a blitz or picking up a couple of blitzes that is what I am going to do.

Q: How difficult was it for you to run for 1,000 yards every year, having a good individual year, but the team never came to amount to anything in the post season? How frustrating was that for you?

CD: It was pretty frustrating. You can have all of the accolades in the world but the ultimate goal is getting to the Super Bowl and winning. Year in and year out, you get all of the stats but at the end of the day, you didn't reach your goal. It kind of frustrates you in some aspects but it didn't really get me truly frustrated.

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Q: As you watched the Patriots this year from afar as an NFL player and watching them through the playoffs, what were your thoughts about the way they were playing as a team and just maybe what your thoughts were on the possibility of playing for them?**

CD: It was just one heartbeat, offense and defense. They just play well together. The chemistry here is great and they know to win football games. I never thought I would be a Patriot but I was sitting back and saying, 'This team is good. It is very good. I wouldn't mind if I had an opportunity to find out what the Patriots are about.' It is a done deal and I am very happy. I am very proud. I would like to thank the Kraft family, Scott Pioli, and Coach Belichick for taking the time to do a thorough investigation on Corey Dillon and finding out that he is a really good guy and in bringing me in.

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Q: How long is this deal that you have now? You had two years left on your original deal.**

CD: They picked up the current two years under my contract and they restructured the first year for cap reasons, which is fine with me. Everything is beneficial for not only myself but the Patriots as well. I think that everyone is comfortable with the situation and that is all I could ask for.

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Q: Do you have two years left with the Patriots or did you extend it a couple of years?**

CD: It is just two years. We will see how the first year goes and hopefully we can do something long term. I truly feel like this is the place I want to be and I am happy and I am looking forward to retiring as a Patriot.

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Q: Corey, what stands out about your time in Cincinnati?**

CD: Believe it or not, I still have love for Cincinnati and the fans. I'd like to thank Mike Brown, Katie Blackburn, Troy Blackburn, Coach [Marvin] Lewis ... I had some great times there. I set a couple of records in Cincinnati. I'm always going to have love for Cincinnati and that fan base. But, today is a new day. I'm happy to be a Patriot and I'm just going to finish what I started in Cincinnati in New England.

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Q: Corey, is there a sense of relief to be out of Cincinnati? Are you relieved with the way things turned out?**

CD: I couldn't be happier. It's a big relief, not only to me but [also] to my family. Everybody's happy and they're excited. This is the first time I've been excited about a season since I was in college. I can't wait to get down there and get started.

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Q: After going on the Best Damn Sports Show, were you ever worried that maybe that would hinder your trade prospects?**

CD: Not really, because what was said on the show was done so in a joking manner. It was just kind of, "Okay, Willie [Anderson] said something about me, now I'm going to say something about Willie." It wasn't really anything that intense or personal. But, that's all in the past. I wish Willie and Marvin Lewis the best of luck and I wish them well in their season. I'm just happy to be part of a winning program where things can get even better.

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Q: Corey, the Patriots play in Cincinnati in August. What kind of reception do you expect?**

CD: I'm not too worried about that. I'm pretty sure I'll get a couple of boos, but that's the nature of the game. My whole focus is going out there and winning football games. I'm not too concerned about how those fans perceive me or not. That's not my focus. I just want to win football games and help the team win.

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Q: Do you think the Patriots got a bargain? You've been a very productive guy and they get you for a second-round pick.

CD: I think everybody pretty much broke even. We're talking about the New England Patriots. This is a Super Bowl team. They're the defending Super Bowl champs. They got exactly what they wanted. I guess Cincinnati got exactly what they wanted. Corey Dillon got exactly what he wanted. I'm happy and I'm a part of a great organization. It's a good deal all around.

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Q: Corey, you said you want to go to a winner and now you're on a winner. What was it about Cincinnati that made you think this couldn't be done in Cincinnati?**

CD: I'd been there for seven years. Our best record was 8-8. You can kind of do the mathematics from that. It just didn't add up. Just being me and being a competitor, I wanted to be put in a situation where I could chase down my goals and my dreams. This is an ideal situation for me. I'm happy about it and I can't wait. I'd like to thank the Cincinnati Bengals for making it happen.

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Q: If you had to describe Corey Dillon as a football player, what would you say about yourself?**

CD: A blue-collar worker, tough, and someone who comes to work and gives 110 percent.

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Q: Talk about what your relationship was with Coach Lewis.**

CD: It wasn't as bad as everybody perceived it was. It was just a process of feeling each other out. I'm sure as things progressed if I was still in Cincinnati, things would have been fine, but that's not the case. I'm a Patriot and I'm happy. Coach Lewis is a great coach and I'm pretty sure he's going to do great things. He's going to move on and I'm going to move on.

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Q: Other than the groin injury, did you miss any games with any other injuries in your seven years there?**

CD: Not at all.

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