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New England Patriots Links 4/11/12 - WRs Anthony Gonzales, Matthew Slater Hold Court in Foxborough

<em>WR Anthony Gonzales was rooting for the Patriots to win the Super Bowl</em>.
WR Anthony Gonzales was rooting for the Patriots to win the Super Bowl.

Mike Rodak reports Anthony Gonzales says the Pats were a 'perfect fit' for him to land in free agency.

"This is my first time as a free agent, I didn't know what was going to happen, I didn't know how it worked," Gonzalez said. "The phone call early was great, and somewhat surprising, but it was the one I was hoping to get, to be honest, when I evaluated free agency and different teams and how I thought I would fit culturally, and also from an offense standpoint, this was one that I had targeted. To have the interest be mutual, that worked out well."

"I'm excited to be here. It's probably the best professional football environment that there is," he said. "Just being in the NFL and being on the other side of that rivalry for a while, there's not like a hatred or anything, it's more of a respect. As you learn more about the teams you are playing, especially this one, you kind of get an appreciation for how they do things, and just the way it's run, and that sort of thing. To me it was the perfect fit in a lot of ways."

"My focus, whether it's with Tom or Brian or with anybody, is just to learn this offense as quickly as humanly possible," Gonzalez continued. "I know just from watching that it's a pretty complex, pretty involved offense, and the one in Indy was too, so that part doesn't worry me, but I do want to make sure that when it's time to get out on the field and go through things, that there's no hesitancy mentally, because if I don't know exactly what I'm doing, there's going to be problems."

Karen Guregian reports Matthew Slater knew there was only one place for him where he wanted to play.

"Well, my heart was here all along. I wanted to be here. I was just happy they felt the same way about me and they wanted me back," Slater said yesterday during a session with the media at Gillette Stadium.

"For me, it was a no-brainer. I’m just very thankful they wanted me back here and they’ve given me an opportunity to continue my career here, just as they did four years ago. They gave me an opportunity to keep playing football when maybe not a lot of people would have. I’m just thankful to be here."

"I think it’s important for us as a team to understand, we’re not a Super Bowl team at this point. This is a new team. This is not the 2011 team," Slater said. "We shouldn’t come in there expecting for teams . . . ‘Oh, that’s the Patriots. They were in the Super Bowl last year.’ We have to re-establish an identity. There’s new players. We have to create an identity for this 2012 team. We’re going to have to earn everything all over again. So we’re back at ground zero now. We have a lot of work to do."

"I’ll train the same way I’ve always trained if not harder because I know that the competition is out there and I have to go out there and prove myself year in and year out, and last year was last year," he said, "so I know I have to come in and work hard. If they ask me to play safety, put my hand in the ground, whatever it is, I’m going to be ready to do it."