New England Patriots Links 9/06/12 - Excitement, Urgency Builds For Season Opener

Is Aaron Hernandez ready for some football? Hell yeah!

Erik Scalavino takes the pulse of the players as anticipation grows for Sunday's season opener in Tennessee.

"As soon as you know preseason's over, you get excited," observed tight end Aaron Hernandez. "And you went through all that hard training in camp, offseason workouts and everything to do what we're doing on Sunday, so I'm excited for it."

"Super excited," added fellow tight end Rob Gronkowski, "and sometimes I get nervous going out to practice, just thinking that it's almost game time. I know when game time comes around, and I'm super excited, which I am right now for it, and also definitely nervous. Basically nervous almost every single game. Especially the season-opener."

"Yeah, there’s certainly a lot of excitement from everybody in the locker room," quarterback Tom Brady pointed out. "It’s been a long training camp and I think every is excited to get to this point. It’s very good team that we’re playing [Sunday in Tennessee]… there’s just a different sense of urgency. I think all the players recognize that and we’ve got to go out and have a good three days of preparation and then try to go out and put together a good game on Sunday."

"Football’s back in the air. It’s exciting," declared cornerback Kyle Arrington. "We’re all looking forward to putting it all together, what we’ve been doing since spring ball… just anxious to get out there."

"It definitely gets more serious. It counts now, those wins and losses… we’re focused. It gets more intense," added safety Steve Gregory, one of the new players the Patriots acquired via free agency.

"Establish confidence… It’s aggressiveness. Just want to be as aggressive as possible. That’s why we play defense: to impose our will on an offense."

"I think so. It’s kind of that first day of school, that excitement in the air, everyone’s 0-0 and dreaming of going to the Super Bowl," remarked receiver Matthew Slater. "Every game I get nervous before. If I’m not nervous before a game, I know I’m not ready for it. There’s a lot of nerves involved. Part of that’s excitement, part of it’s knowing you’re getting ready to compete. That’s just part of the game, having those butterflies come game day."

"I think there’s really an excitement of what we’re doing and you really are excited to see how the team’s going to come together," Brady continued. "You put in all the practice in the springtime and then the practice in the summer time, and now after Labor Day is when the football season kicks off. So there’s just definitely a progression of really what’s next."

"There’s always that excitement," Gregory concluded. "But once that first ball is kicked off, you get that first hit in, all that goes away and now you’re just playing football."

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