On becoming more comfortable as a player:
"I was still learning (Last year) the defenses and the offense. I was just trying to get up to speed and I was able to do that."
On the biggest difference between this year's and last year's team:
"I feel like we have a lot more leaders. A lot of guys lead by verbal, a lot of guys lead by example that is probably the biggest thing."
Are you a leader Ryan?:
"Yes I like to lead by example."
On his experienced offensive line:
" I'm very excited. Hopefully everybody stays healthy. It is going to be a great season. We have a lot of guys with experience coming back and it is going to be fun."
On Rudy Carpenter this year:
" Rudy is more of a leader. I feel like he has gotten stronger as a leader. He voices his opinion more. Over the summer he was the guy that everybody went to ask questions. He stepped up to the plate and he handled it, he handled it really well. I'm excited for him."
On the dynamic between himself and the other backs:
" We are all pushing each other. We are all going to push each other because everyone wants to make plays. Everyone wants to be seen, everyone wants to be on that field. So it is going to be fun. We are all going to make each other better."
On what running back coach Jamie Christian will bring:
" He played the position, so he knows what he is talking about. And he has been at the NFL level. That speaks for itself. If you played the position and coached at the highest level, you have experience. You kind of know what a running back goes through when he is out on the field. He can relate."
On his goals this year:
"I always want to get over 1,000 (rushing yards)."
On his offensive role this year:
"I don't think it will be a huge change, like run-run-run. Coach Erickson likes to run the ball but you have to have a balanced offense to keep the defenses guessing."
More on his running back group competition:
"Competition pushes you. You just have to be a work-horse, you have to keep up with the group. It is a great group of guys. We all have different aspects in our running game and we're going to help each other with it. It will be beneficial to the team."
On his physical health:
"Not really (hurt from last year), I didn't have too many injuries to be honest, no. I was pretty healthy coming out of that season."
On social pressure that comes with success:
" Not much has changed. Everyone wants to make their comments. You've got some friends that say "Man I can't wait for this da da da. You gonna' be this and that." It is fun here and there but you can't let it go to your head. It's not there yet, you can't get distracted."
On the USC game:
"That's the big game. That's the only (college) game on Thanksgiving. A lot of my family members can't make it out, and I know my family likes to get together on Thanksgiving. I'm excited to just know that they are all together watching the game."
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots' Dane Fletcher's season may be over minutes after it began…