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New England Patriots Links 7/13/10 - Darius Butler: Belichick Demands Our Best, Gives His Best

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<em>Darius Butler can speak now that he's no longer a lowly rookie</em>.
Darius Butler can speak now that he's no longer a lowly rookie.

Jay Crawford (ESPN First Take) Patriots preview with CB Darius Butler. (3.38 min. video)

What did you guys learn from the loss to the Ravens last season?

I'm not sure we learned, but I know we want to get that bad taste out of our mouth and are ready to get back at it; start 2010 season off right.

There was a lot of questions about the chemistry of this team... Based on what you've seen in the off-season programs, has that been taken care of?  Do you feel there is a cohesion now back on this football team?

Yeah. Definitely.  Everyone is getting along.  Everyone is out there for the same cause, you know, just trying to get better.  There's a lot of competition on the team so that's always good.  Everything has just been getting better and moving forward every day and that's our goal, to get better every day.

Did you sense there was a problem last year with team chemistry?

I can't say what I sensed or didn't.  I was a rookie so I was just trying to pick up anything and everything.  Now I'm one year into it I know what to expect, so it should be a better year for me personally and definitely for the team.

Darius, we know Tom Brady and the offense has pretty much carried the team the last couple of years.  From what you've seen, how is Wes Welker doing?  How is he coming back from that knee injury?

I'm not sure.  I'm sure he's working his butt off, knowing Wes.  I didn't get a chance to see him much on the preseason stuff - I'm on the defensive side - but like I said I'm sure he's working his butt off and doing the best he can to do to get back as soon as possible.  Hopefully we'll see him out there soon.

You guys are very young in the defensive backfield.  What's going to be the biggest key to this defense and ultimately this team's success this coming season?

I don't know.  Like I said we're getting better every day since we were out there in preseason and, like you said, we're young, we're athletic and there's a lot of competition - a lot of people fighting for jobs, so that's always good.  Competition always breeds success so I'm definitely looking forward to this season, this preseason and may the best man come out on the floor.

What was the thing you learned from your rookie year?

Just how to be a pro, how to prepare for games, the preparation it takes for every game - it's a lot different from the college level.  On the college level your athletic abilities can take over a lot more.  On this level everyone is pretty much on the same playing field and the mental takes over more.  So that's what I learned most of my rookie season.

Darius we all hear about how tough it can be to play for Bill Belichick.  What was it like playing for Bill based on what you heard it was going to be like playing for him?

It was pretty much the same thing.  Him and my college coach, Randy Edsall, are tough guys and you know, it's all about winning on this level and any level.  That's what he's about and that's what we're about.  He demands the best out of us and we get the best out of him.

How many times did you see him smile during the season - was it over or under five?


You got five smiles?  That surprises me a little bit.

Yeah, we got more than five smiles.