FOXBORO, Mass. — It’s not shocking that the New England Patriots’ interest in Mike Gillislee came as a surprise to the former Buffalo Bills running back.
Gillislee was a restricted free agent for nearly a month before the Patriots reached out to host him for a visit at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots never had shown interest in Gillislee dating back to 2013, when he was coming out of the University of Florida, before hosting and signing him to a two-year, $6.4 million offer sheet, which the Bills ultimately declined to match.
But what were his hopes as he entered restricted free agency?
“The best, and I ended up with the best being here to a winning squad,” Gillislee said Tuesday at Gillette Stadium. “No offense against Buffalo, but just to come here and continue to help this team win games.”
Gillislee only has been around his new team for a week, but working with the Patriots brings him back to his college days.
“It reminds me a lot of when I was in college playing under Urban Meyer,” Gillislee said. “Just sticking to that plan to win, paying attention to all the small details and executing them.”
Gillislee played under Meyer in 2009 and 2010 before the head coach resigned from Florida.
“Every day you gotta come to work,” Gillislee said. “Every day you have to have 100 percent focus on your responsibilities and everything that the coaches need of you. …
“It’s nothing I’m not used to. I came from the University of Florida, and expectations were the same. This reminds me of the same.”
Thumbnail photo via Doug Kyed/NESN