FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Austin Collie has been a member of the New England Patriots less than a week.
Although it took the veteran receiver no time at all to recognize the culture he is now a part of.
"There's not many places where you go in and you can just tell winning is expected here," Collie said Friday while addressing the Boston media for the first time. "You've got a bunch of grown men here who know how to handle their business. You don't need anyone looking after them. They're all self-motivated, and I think that's a rarity to find that every single guy on the squad is like that.
"You can definitely tell that here is one of those places."
Collie was signed Thursday by New England (4-0) to help bolster a youthful, yet banged up, receiving corps. Danny Amendola, acquired during the offseason to replace Wes Welker, has missed the last three games with a groin injury. Rookies Kenbrell Thompkins (shoulder) and Aaron Dobson (neck) both suffered injuries Sunday night against Atlanta, were limited in practice this week and likely will be questionable for Sunday's game against Cincinnati (2-2).
Whether Collie plays against the Bengals (2-2) on Sunday remains to be seen.
"We'll kind of recall where he is and see where we're at tomorrow and make a decision," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. "I don't know."
Collie was in training camp with the San Francisco 49ers but released on Aug. 31. After working out with a few teams, including the Patriots, the 6-foot, 204-pound wideout arrived in New England in time to practice Thursday, and again Friday.
"There's definitely a unique feel here, definitely great guys in the locker room, great team camaraderie," he said. "So it's fun. It's a great place to be."
Collie spent the first four seasons of his career in Indianapolis, where he scored 15 touchdowns in his first two years, but was limited to one game last season after rupturing his patellar tendon. He also has a history of concussions.
"All I want to do is just play football and that's what I'm doing," he said. "So, I'm a happy man."
Despite being cognizant of his new environment, Collie clearly is still acclimating to his new home.
On multiple occasions Friday, Collie responded as if he was answering questions about the upcoming opponent, referring to the Patriots as "they" before quickly incorporating himself into the group.
"We're an organization that's going to bring it every single week," he said. "There's guys here that don't need to be told how to work. They know how to work hard, they know what's expected of them and it's a phenomenal work environment.
"It makes your job easier."
While he's had only two practices to work with quarterback Tom Brady and is trying to get up to speed on the playbook as quickly as possible, Collie does have a few friends to help him along the way. He trained with Edelman and Amendola during last season's lockout.
"Austin's obviously been in the league for a while now, he's a great receiver and we're all excited to have him," said Amendola, who practiced but didn't say if he would play Sunday. "He'll pick up the playbook in no time, I'm sure."
Collie knows it's a coach's decision if he plays or not, but added he has been ready to take the field for a while.
"This is a great system — obviously, a system that's proven itself year in, year out. I love being in it. There's a lot of balls to be caught. I can't wait to learn more about it," he said. "I can't wait to get that chemistry down with No. 12 and jell with this offense."
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