FOXBORO, Massachusetts — Veteran runner Ezekiel Elliott kept smiling during his preseason press conference with New England Patriots reporters. At one point, he winked.
It reflects how Elliott, after spending the first seven years of his NFL career with the Dallas Cowboys, quickly felt at home as a patriot.
“I think if you look at my style of play and the culture of this team, it’s a good game,” he said on Wednesday. “I think I’m in good shape.”
“I’ve been home for a long time, so I thought I’d definitely have to come in and be a bit of a boost. It’s been a good transition. I got along with the team. I like the coaches, I like the atmosphere and I love this programme. Just having fun.”
As for the idea of proving the skeptics wrong, he said, “I don’t think any external entity can put more pressure on me than any pressure I put on myself. So, it’s not really about going out and proving anything to anyone but just going out there and showing any kind of The players are me.”
The Patriots officially announced the signing of Elliott on August 16, and as part of head coach Bill Belichick’s preference to limit the noise, Elliott was not available to speak with reporters until seven days later.
The 28-year-old referred to Belichick on Wednesday as a “great coach” and “funny guy”, adding that he “demands excellence in his team and knows how to get it out of it”.
Belichick has gradually increased Elliott’s workload over the past week, and at Wednesday’s full pads workout, Elliott’s presence on the goal line was notable when he displayed fantastic vision and decisive cutbacks between right guard and right tackle on a prospect. drop.
Elliott was taking pictures behind player Ramunder Stephenson, with whom he shares the same agent. The two met in 2021 after the Patriots-Cowboys game and remained close.
“He’s a quarterback with a similar running style to me, so I think we’ll be able to complement each other very well,” Elliott said.
Elliott’s move has been noticed by teammates over the past week, which began when he traveled with the club to Green Bay last week to train with the Packers.
“He looks good,” said veteran safety Adrian Phillips. “You can tell he’s a hungry, motivated guy who wants to prove he’s still Zeke.” “I think he is, and it was fun to be with him.
“He wants to come and get to know the culture here. He hasn’t tried to step on anyone’s toes — the first thing he’s done is come and say, ‘What’s up?’ to everyone” — and he wants to get to know everyone. He’s a great guy.”
Elliott could see his first game as a Patriot in the Pre-Season Finals on Friday on the road against the Tennessee Titans. He said he remained in good physical condition during the vacation period.
“I was at home, but I was definitely doing my best,” he said. “I think I did a day of conditioning after signing, and they just threw me out there. I feel good. I feel ready to play.”