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New England Patriots Links 7/18/11 - Patriots Players Wait Out Lockout

<em>Wes Welker is ready and waiting for camp to start</em>.
Wes Welker is ready and waiting for camp to start.

Mike Reiss recaps Wes Welker's guest appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio Thursday.

Thoughts on the Patriots in 2011. "We're real excited about the team we have. We have a lot of young guys that can run really well. Smart guys. They care. That's the main thing. I have a lot of trust in a lot of the guys we have and I'm just excited to get back to work and get out there with them, and get this season going."

Thoughts on the lockout. "It's funny, everyone asks me 'Are we going to get this deal done?' I'm like, 'Man, whatever you read, you probably know more than I do.' So my main goal, basically, is just staying in shape and making sure I'm ready for Day 1 of training camp. If it doesn't happen, I'm still going to stay ready for whenever it does. I'm not really getting caught up in what is going to happen. I keep an eye on it, but at the end of the day, I just need to stay in shape and make sure that I'm putting a good product on the field once we get going."

Surprised at drafting two running backs. "I think our picks always surprise people. You always think one thing and we go after something completely different. But for the most part, I trust in Coach Belichick and the staff that they're going to get the best player possible to help our football team. I know they try to create advantages for us out there on the football field and attack weaknesses of the defense. We try to stay strong at every position where we can [exploit] weaknesses."

Tight end Rob Gronkowski. "He's a great player. He's going to be a really good player. You know, we just have to stay on him and make sure he's getting all the assignments right and all those things, and keep him more consistent as far as that goes. He's a heck of a blocker. He can catch the ball. He can stretch the field. He can break himself down and come out of a break, give head fakes and things like that. He really doesn't have a weakness to his game. It's just polishing up all those things to make him great."

Wide receiver Brandon Tate. "Brandon is a great player, man. He has great speed. We have to work on his consistency and really get him going, making sure that game in and game out, play in and play out, practice in and practice out, it's a consistent thing. Once he gets that, he's going to be fine and he's going to make a lot of plays for us, like he has this past year."

Thoughts on NFL rules on defenseless receivers. "It's kind of in-between on that one. I totally respect guys that go out there and give it their all, and fly around, and try to make plays. I think there are certain situations where you need to back down and stuff, but for the most, it's football and you know that stuff is going to happen. You know you're going to get hit. It's part of the game. I'm always going to be ready for that, no matter whether there are fines for that or not, and just try to stay physical myself, and take my shots when I get a chance."

Mike Reiss gets Stephen Gostkowski's and Brian Hoyer's comments on reports that the NFL lockout is nearing its end.

GOSTKOWSKI: "It's exciting, but I'm not getting my hopes up until they call me and tell me to be there. I'm just going to do what I've been doing, getting ready for the season. But I'm definitely ready to get around the teammates and coaches, and have some structure in my life again with football."

HOYER: "Just hoping that the reports are true and getting excited. Obviously, we're back up here in the area, just waiting, getting ready, with the few guys that we've been working out with all along. We just continue to do that to be ready for that call."