Stephon Gilmore already has Patriot-speak down.
The former Buffalo Bills cornerback was careful not to say anything remotely close to inflammatory during a news conference Thursday in Foxborough, Mass.
Asked if it was "frustrating" to face the Patriots through the years, Gilmore said, "They did a lot of great things playing against them. I'm happy to be over here and learn from the guys and learn from the coaches. (We've) got great coaches. So I'm looking forward to it."
That was typical of the type of responses Gilmore gave to questions about the team he joined in free agency after spending his first five NFL seasons in Buffalo.
He said he was "excited" when the Patriots called and "humbled" by their desire to sign him.
"I heard a lot of great things," Gilmore said. "So I'm just happy to be here."
He appreciated the way he was welcomed by his new teammates, especially his fellow defensive backs, and the fact that they all seemed willing to help out if he had any questions.
Gilmore made no bold comments, as he did when he called himself an "elite" cornerback after his fourth season with the Bills. Without saying as much, he seemed keenly aware of his boundaries as part of Bill Belichick's always-keep-it-vanilla policy.
"I'll hit the ground running and do whatever I can to help the team," Gilmore said.
Despite joining the defending Super Bowl champions with three Pro Bowlers in the secondary, Gilmore refused to take anything for granted.
"It's good, but I look at it as every year it starts over," he said. "You've got to prove yourself every year. That's one thing that you have to go in and try to prove yourself every day and every year. So I'm looking forward to it."
As he said throughout the session, Gilmore said pairing with Pro Bowler Malcolm Butler, a restricted free agent who signed his tender with the Patriots after speculation he would be heading to the New Orleans Saints never came to fruition, was "going to be fun."
“I know he’s a talented player but I just try to stay in my lane and handle the things I can handle," Gilmore said. "It’s a competitive group so I’m looking forward to it. He just competes no matter what. He just competes to the end of the play. I mean all the guys do in the secondary so that’s one thing that stuck out to me.”
Does he think he could be part of potentially the best secondary in the NFL?
"We just want to be the best team that we can be," Gilmore said. "Whatever that goal is, whatever we've got to do to win games, that's what we've got to do to help this team win."