BOSTON (CBS) — With 57 games and 126 receptions in the NFL, Dwayne Allen is a certified NFL veteran.
Still, that doesn’t mean learning New England’s playbook is easy for him.
“I think any guy coming from any offense would have a tough time coming here. There is just a higher standard that is held here,” Allen told Zolak & Bertrand from the Gillette Stadium practice fields on Tuesday. “The offense has been developing for 18 some-odd years. So it’s pretty tough, man, but you put in the work every day and you’ll get better at it.”
Veteran linebacker David Harris, who’s played all 154 of his NFL games for the New York Jets, said the defensive playbook is an equal challenge to learn.
“I think I’m doing pretty good, but I still have a long way to go,” Harris told Zo & Bertrand. “The defense is very complex and the linebackers have to play multiple positions and be able to interchange every play. So my coach — Coach [Brian] Flores — and the other linebackers in the room have been very helpful in helping me make the transition, helping me out with calls, and just being great teammates. And that’s all you can ask for, coming in so late. Pretty much behind but I’m trying to do everything I can to catch up with everybody and it’s been great.”
Zolak asked Harris about the importance of wearing the green dot on his helmet, thus being the defensive player who gets the call from the sideline.
“I mean, I’m used to having the green dot, I’ve been doing it for the last [few] years, it’s natural to me,” Harris said. “There’s multiple guys out here with the green dot as well, so we’re still trying to figure out who’s going to be able to call the huddle every play. But it means a lot to even be one of the guys considered.”
Allen also spoke about what it’s been like to be teammates with the unique character and player that is Rob Gronkowski.
“Amazing — Rob is not only fun to have in the meeting room but a pleasure to learn from on the field,” Allen said. “There are certain nuances to his game that make him great, and a wise man once told me that greatness leaves clues. So I’m just following his lead and trying to pick up on all the clues that he leaves behind.”
Harris discussed how and why he made the decision to join the defending Super Bowl champions.
“I mean, at this stage of my career, I’ve made plenty of money — more money than I could ever spend,” Harris explained. “And now, in Year 11, it’s all about winning, that winning culture. And I felt like this is the best fit for me. I’ve had tremendous respect for the Patriots over the years because we’ve faced them twice a year. I know what they’re all about, had a couple of teammates from college who played here, so I had the inside scoop on what to expect and what it’s like. And the culture here is amazing, and I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
Listen to the full interviews above: