Patriots running back Corey Dillon was sitting in a chair in front of his locker, chatting away on his cell phone. As he looked out of the corner of his eye, he noticed a large group of reporters hovering around.
“Yes … and how can I help you today?” he asked playfully, hanging up the cell phone.
Dillon hadn’t been speaking with the media for weeks, noting he was too old to do so. His reference to age was tied to media speculation concerning running backs that struggle once they turn 30.
Dillon, who turned 31 on Monday, stopped his silence during Wednesday’s media access period. Here is the Q&A:
How do you feel about going up against the Bills, who are ranked No. 31 in the league against the run?
“It doesn’t matter what they’re ranked against the run.”
How are you feeling physically?
“Company line –- I’m going to get back as soon as possible. That’s what we’re looking at. Hopefully sooner than later.”
Does it mean anything to you to eclipse 10,000 yards?
“For an old guy whose birthday is the same date at King Tut, that’s pretty good. Coming from sources, I don’t know. I don’t know what it means to you guys, but as I look at it, it means over the course of years you’ve played in the NFL you’ve been doing some pretty good things.”
When you first came into the league, did you think you’d get that milestone?
“When I first came into the league people probably thought I wasn’t going to make it to my ninth season. I mean, just being productive and sticking in and fighting in tough situations, it’s a good mark but not something I’m going to hang my hat on.”
Did you hear from other members of the 10,000-yard club or others you played with?
“Nobody has to point it out. When you hit that mark, it’s just like your 3,000th hit as a baseball player. It’s a good mark. It’s something special, but it doesn’t stop there. We’re preparing and we have to get ready for this game this week against Buffalo and play well.”
Can you assess your thoughts on the running game when you have been playing?
“We’re getting better. Everybody is doing their job, everybody is working hard, and that’s the only assessment I can go with. I’m going to continue to work hard and try to get better.”
How was the bye week –- did you relax?
“I took a stroll in my walker. My family walked me out in the park. We fed the pigeons. After 10 minutes, they thought that was enough for me and took me back inside. It was kind of cold. My bones were aching.”
Are you having fun with the aging, or does it bother you at some level?
“It doesn’t bother me. It doesn’t matter to me. I know who I am. Other people may not know who I am, and that’s fine. But as long as I know, it really doesn’t matter … I don’t think I’m the oldest guy in this locker room. There isn’t an age thing that goes around. There are a lot of players in here older than me, and they go out there and get the job done. I don’t think there is an age policy in this locker room –- for somebody to write that and say what they had to say, that’s absurd. That’s them. That’s their own little conclusion about when people turn a certain age. Hey, more power to them. Me, I don’t take it personal at all. I know I can still play this game and if I couldn’t I wouldn’t be here.”
It must be nice having Doug Flutie around …
“Yeah, Doug’s locker is down that way. He can comment on that. There are a lot of players here that can get it done; it doesn’t matter what age. That’s how I look at it.”
Looking ahead, we’ll plan on filing our next update Thursday after Bill Belichick’s scheduled press conference at 10:45 a.m. EDT.