He nonetheless hasn’t had his first Dunkin’, however rookie Christian Gonzalez is beginning to settle in with the Patriots


“I undoubtedly see one on each nook. It is completely different. Nonetheless have not had it, however perhaps I am going to attempt it out.”

New England Patriots cornerback Christian Gonzalez during an NFL preseason football game against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium, Thursday, Aug. 10, 2023 in Foxborough, Mass.
Christian Gonzalez has settled right into a featured function on New England’s protection. (Winslow Townson/AP Pictures

He solely has two preseason video games beneath his belt, however Patriots rookie Christian Gonzalez has regarded proper at dwelling in New England’s protection.

However away from the gridiron, it’s clear that the 21-year-old cornerback nonetheless has some work to do in terms of immersing himself within the treasured delicacies discovered throughout New England.

“We don’t [have] plenty of Dunkin’ in Dallas, or once I was at Oregon — there weren’t plenty of Dunkin Donuts,” Gonzalez admitted after Tuesday’s apply in Foxborough. “Being right here, I undoubtedly see one on each nook. It’s completely different. Nonetheless haven’t had it, however perhaps I’ll attempt it out.”

Shirking in his obligation to snag an iced common after spending near 4 months throughout the Commonwealth means there’s nonetheless room to develop for Gonzalez, who says he nonetheless misses his beloved fast-food chain again dwelling in Texas: Whataburger.

After spending most of minicamp as one among New England’s beginning outdoors corners, Gonzalez has entrenched himself at that spot on the depth chart because the competitors has ratcheted up throughout preseason video games and scrappy joint practices.

“It was simply plenty of enjoyable to have the ability to go up there and apply in opposition to a unique staff and see completely different receivers and be taught from them after which be taught from the vets that inform me what’s coming within the movie room and conferences, then going again on the market and having the ability to apply in opposition to them after which play them within the sport,” Gonzalez informed reporters on Tuesday.

Gonzalez’s athleticism and fluidity in protection have been obvious since his first reps on New England’s apply fields, validating New England’s resolution to snag the previous Oregon Duck with the seventeenth general decide within the 2023 NFL Draft.

However Gonzalez’s knack for studying on the fly and including some thump to his sport has allowed him to counter any potential setbacks that current themselves for any rookie studying the ropes over a grueling coaching camp.

Saturday’s efficiency in opposition to the Packers in preseason motion was one other step in the appropriate course for Gonzalez.

After getting picked on by Packers QB Jordan Love throughout Wednesday’s joint-practice session, Gonzalez rebounded the next morning, breaking apart a move on a deep ball to Romeo Doubs.

Having a brief reminiscence is a necessary a part of life as a defensive again within the NFL. And regardless that one of many knocks in opposition to Gonzalez has been his lack of physicality, he landed 4 tackles throughout Saturday’s contest at Lambeau Subject.

He additionally was known as for a harsh defensive move interference penalty that ought to have resulted in an interception for New England’s protection.

Whereas in tight protection in opposition to Packers WR Malik Heath, Gonzalez managed to tip the ball on the final second — permitting Brad Hawkins to scoop up the ball for the decide. Gonzalez’s DPI was a fairly ticky-tack name, however the rookie isn’t dwelling on it.

“At this place, you’ve received to maneuver on, you’ll be able to’t dwell on one play,” Gonzalez stated. “You make a play, transfer on. You miss a play, transfer on. That’s simply form of how the place is and in the event you surrender a play otherwise you make a play you progress on and be taught from it, what you probably did or what you didn’t do within the classroom.”

At this stage of the preseason, Gonzalez ought to have a beginning spot on New England’s protection all however shored up.

However regardless that the poised defensive again has already carved out an everyday function at this stage of his younger profession, he isn’t taken his quick begin without any consideration.

“I’m blessed to be right here, to get up and play soccer, that’s actually what I’m pleased with,” Gonzalez stated. “I dreamed of it since I used to be slightly child and it’s right here and it’s occurring. Dwelling within the second, staying within the second and making an attempt to get higher.”