A few minutes with LB Dane Fletcher

June, 27, 2011
6/27/11
2:15
PM ET


NORTON, Mass. -- Quick hits with second-year Patriots linebacker Dane Fletcher from the eighth-annual Tedy Bruschi Spaulding Rehabilitation Golf Tournament today at TPC-Boston:

His approach this offseason. "It's a tough offseason in a way, especially because you don't know when we're going to be unlocked. My approach, along with a lot of guys I train with, is if the call comes tomorrow we're all ready. We're in shape and we're ready in a month [to play]. We're ready whenever this thing kicks off. When it does, it's on. That's what we hope for, and that's what we expect."

How he's handling the lockout. "So far, since I've been in an offseason already, I kind of understand the logistics behind it. I'm watching film with [Jerod] Mayo. We're doing about the same things that we would be doing if we weren't locked out. I'm prepared. We're all prepared. We watch film together. We still work. We run together. You get all the ingredients you need in there, and in the end, hopefully you have a fine mix."

On having last offseason as a foundation. "Now that I'm a year into it, those OTAs and minicamps really gave a free agent like me a chance. These free agents coming in this year, they still don't know where they are. They have to kick it into gear right when they get in. They're going to have to hit the books right away. It's going to be tough for them, just like it's tough for anybody, but especially for those guys."

Advice for rookie free agents. "It's all about time, especially in the stadium. You have to definitely be one of the first ones, if not the first, in. And you have to be the last to leave. There is no other choice if you expect to make the team. I did that, and we had minicamps and OTAs, and it was still a tough road. Those guys, you have to expect to put in your time when you come to work."

Living with tight end Rob Gronkowski. "It's great. We eat healthy, we train hard together. It's all work when the work is due. I couldn't ask for a better roommate when it comes to that because we both compete on a daily basis, with everything, with food. He'll get a couple extra abs at night or something and I'll be like 'Dang, I'll do that.' It's being pushed all the time, to the maximum potential that you can be pushed. And we have some fun too. You have to enjoy life a little bit and have some fun. There is a fine balance."

Twitter battles with his teammates. "Oh yeah, I get in those Twitter battles all the time. I'll talk to Gronk, I'll get into it with Danny [Woodhead], but Danny is so easy. Julian [Edelman] just gets hurt about everything, so you can pick on Julian, but it's like 'are you hurting his feelings for real?' [laughter]."

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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