When it comes to Tom Brady, defensive end Randy Gregory says all the right things.
He calls him the "GOAT" and he acknowledges his greatness in every way.
But there's a smile on his face that isn't going away this week. Maybe he's just that excited to play meaningful games. And maybe he's so anxious to finally show what kind of playmaker he can be.
But don't think for a second he's not eager to face Brady, especially in Week 1.
Gregory knows there isn't a better benchmark for the defense or himself as they take on the defending the champs on the road.
This week, Gregory met with the media to discuss various topics about Thursday's game.
Here are six questions to Gregory – half of which about facing one Tom Brady.
1. How can you guys make Brady uncomfortable? - He does a lot of things great. I think they call him the GOAT for a reason. Like I say, he does a lot of things great, but you got to make him feel uncomfortable. With him he likes to stand tall. You got make sure you keep bodies around him, even if you're not hitting him, just being able to get around him, get your hands up, different things like that; knock him off the spot. Just not really give him a chance to pick us apart as a defense.
2. How important is it get Brady off his spot in the pocket?
I think it's big for any quarterback, not just Brady. Our main goal as a defensive line is to be disruptive, get in the backfield, and get to the quarterback, and cause issues that way. But just not making him feel like he can drop back and stand in the same spot that he dropped back in. Whatever that is: running games, different things we can do there. Blitzing. Disguising different calls, things like that — those are all different ways you can kind of get him off his spot, getting him thinking twice about what he wants to do with the ball."
3. Does it mean more for a pass-rusher to sack a guy like Brady?
Yeah, I think all sacks are important. I'll just say that."
4. How excited are you the preseason is over and it's time to play?
Me, myself? I'm real excited. I think my body is ready for the workload of a full game. I'm keyed into my work and my assignments and things like that. I think as a whole, as a defense as a whole, I think we're ready to go for the assignments. So, very excited."
5. Do you feel like you're ready to take the next step with your own game?
Yeah, I would say my approach as far in a pass rush. I think I've tweaked a little bit than what I've done in the past. I think there are things I need to work on as far as my hand usage and how violent I am on that, which we're definitely working on that. But my approach, as far as my pass rush, as far as where I need to go with my point of attack, definitely work on that a lot during the offseason. I think I've gotten a lot better at that."
6. Are you eager to see Micah Parsons in an NFL game?
I think as a team we expect a lot from Micah. As you said, he's a great player, great teammate. As you said, we can do a lot of different things with him as far as putting him all over the field. I don't know. We've seen a lot from him in practice and obviously there is a small sample we've seen in the games. But day in and day out he's making plays. He's sideline to sideline, covering guys. He's gone down and worked with the D-line, too. So, he can do a lot. We expect him to do a lot. I'm sure he knows that, and I know he's ready for the challenge."