On April 6th, I had the opportunity to speak with free agent tight end Kyle Auffray. He is undoubtedly one of the smartest, genuine athletes I’ve been fortunate enough to connect with during my few years within the sports field realm. (You can see our first TFE article with Kyle here)
Today, I decided it would be a good time to follow up with Kyle because he was recently signed by the New England Patriots. Unfortunately, I learned of his release from the team, however after speaking with Kyle its evident that this obstacle isn’t going to keep him down.
TFE‘s second conversation with Kyle:
Josh: What have you done between the last time we spoke and now?
Kyle: Well I’ve continued to work out and stay in peak shape. About a month ago the Patriots invited me on a tryout basis to their rookie mini camp, which I attended. About two weeks ago they called back and wanted to sign me and the team flew me up for OTA’s.
Josh: You were briefly a Patriot recently, and you mentioned last time we spoke that Coach Belichick was impressed with your first workout over a year ago. Do you expect to be a Patriot once more at some point?
Kyle: I hope so, but I understand that this is a business and their goal is to win games. I can’t have control over what a team does and the moves they make. I hope I’m able to contribute and be a part of their formula to do so. But, I also have to be ready for any other opportunities that come my way.
Josh: Did you learn anything significant from coaches or teammates during your time with New England?
Kyle: Absolutely, they run a great organization up there. I learned a lot in the week I was a Patriot. They have a great staff, team and locker room environment. They’re a well run organization which has proven to be successful and have succeeded for a long time. And you can’t argue their philosophies or moves they make for that reason.
Josh: Was it nice to be ‘back in the saddle’ so to speak, again?
Kyle: Definitely. This opportunity gave me a chance to get my football legs under me. I got to go out and compete everyday. I focused on improving myself, learning their playbook and how they run themselves. I took advantage of everyday and made the most of it. I continued to progress every time I had the chance whether it was in the weight room or the class room.
Kyle: Yeah, I’m going to be motivated either way. It absolutely reinforced that teams are definitely interested in me. While I was in New England they gave me a chance to show that I was able to perform, and perform well. Being a part of a team and learning an offense gave me a boost that I needed for camp. My attitude going forward is to train like I’ll be in camp somewhere at the end of July. I plan to go at it everyday like I have camp coming up and I’ll continue to remain optimistic that another team brings me in sometime soon to give me another opportunity.
Josh: Were you surprised to be released?
Kyle: I was a bit surprised. But I think anybody who gets cut that fast in a week from any organization in the league would be too. Like I mentioned, teams have a businesses to run. There are a lot of moving parts and at any time teams can only keep a certain number of players on the roster at a time. They have to remain within the rules. Still, I was surprised but at the same time its not the first time I’ve ever been cut.
Josh: Thanks again for taking some time to speak with us, Kyle. We wish you the best as always!
Kyle: Anytime man, much appreciated!
Auffray radiates confidence, which is crucial for young players because not every path they’ll take in their career will be a smooth one. He knows he’s capable enough and has the skills to play in the NFL, and with that comes a little bit of patience.
Links to Kyle’s workouts:
Workout 3/13/14: http://bit.ly/1ex77Vs
Route running 10/29/13: http://bit.ly/1gbMWkD
Dallas Super Regional 4/8/13: http://bit.ly/11vf9s6
Follow me on Twitter: @JoshElkin