Patriots

Dont’a Hightower is ‘just trying to get better’

Hightower celebrates after sacking Aaron Rodgers on November 30, 2014. Christian Petersen/Getty Images

FOXBOROUGH — We’re used to a lot of slogans at Gillette Stadium.

“Do your job.”

“Onto Cincinnati.”

On Thursday, following Patriots OTAs, linebacker Dont’a Hightower may have introduced a new slogan to the lexicon: “trying to get better.” He used that word — “better” — in his answer to 18 of the 22 questions that were asked during his brief three-minute interview with the media.

A sampling:

  • How does it feel to be back out here? “I’m just glad to be out here and get better with my teammates.”
  • Is it odd not having Jerod Mayo out there? “Players come and go each and every year. You just try to move forward and get better while we’re out here.”
  • How are you handling the way the season ended? “It’s a new year. We’re doing different things. So we’re just out here trying to get better.”
  • What’s the goal at this time of year? “Just trying to get better.”
  • Are you thinking at all about your contract negotiations? “I ain’t got nothing to do with any of that. I’m just out here trying to get better with my teammates.”
  • But you do have something to do with it; if you want to stay, you can make that happen, right? “That might be it, but there’s a time and place for everything, and right now I’m just out here trying to get better.”
  • Is it easy to put that out of your mind? “Absolutely. Because right now is the time for me to just get better.”

If Hightower dodges oncoming offensive linemen the way he dodged questions on Thursday, he could be in position to rack up 200 tackles in 2016.

The 2015-16 Patriots Season, game-by-game

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