Itâ€™s tough. I think the offseason, the three months we have, helps a lot as far as getting our bodies ready. But freak things happen, as with Chad last year.
Everybody falls like that, and for him it was a severe injury. The team has to have enough backups and enough variety on their team that they can pick up the slack when thereâ€™s an injury and thatâ€™s the team that will make it to the championship every year. New England went through it bad, and they had enough guys there that dove in and did a tremendous job.
Q: Will there be a different kind of emphasis this year in camp?
A: Itâ€™s always something you emphasize, especially when you have a history of poor starts. Just like last year, I assume Herm is going to come in. Camp will probably be a little tougher so we can try to avoid that bad start weâ€™ve had in past years.
Q: Does a tougher start mean you will have a better start?
A: No, but the other stuff hasnâ€™t worked so I guess itâ€™s worth a shot.
Q: With the addition of Justin (McCareins) and a healthy Chad (Pennington) from the start, are you excited about what this offense can do?
A: Yeah, I think we showed a lot in the OTAs and the mini-camp that we have had, we kind of picked up where we left off last year. I expect nothing but good things this year from the whole group.
Q: How do you feel?
A: I feel good. Iâ€™m happy to be here.
Q: Do you notice any changes in Herm and the other coaches?
A: Nothing obvious, but if I was him I would be saving it for training camp and I think thatâ€™s what heâ€™s doing. Everybody expects it and everybody is willing to do whatever it takes. As hard as he wants to be on us and as soft as he wants to be on us â€“ whatever it takes weâ€™re willing to do it and accept it. Hopefully weâ€™ll get a lot of wins this year.
Q: Is there a little sense of urgency because last year was a disappointment?
A: There is a lot of sense of urgency. Itâ€™s the first time we didnâ€™t make the playoffs. Itâ€™s just a bad taste to have in your mouth having been here the last couple years prior. Like I said, thatâ€™s why weâ€™re willing â€“ whatever it takes to get back there weâ€™ll do. There arenâ€™t many things that I can speak for everybody about, but thatâ€™s one thing.
Q: Does camp ever get old?
A: Iâ€™d love to go right to the season. My biggest fear is something bad happening in the preseason for me obviously and what happened to Chad last year too. Certainly being my 10th year, Iâ€™m ready to get right to the real stuff, but there is where we find out what we have and fine tune for the real stuff.
Q: How hard is it trying to keep a team healthy for 16 games in the season?
A: Itâ€™s tough. I think the offseason, the three months we have, helps a lot as far as getting our bodies ready. But freak things happen, as with Chad last year. Everybody falls like that, and for him it was a severe injury. The team has to have enough backups and enough variety on their team that they can pick up the slack when thereâ€™s an injury and thatâ€™s the team that will make it to the championship every year. New England went through it bad, and they had enough guys there that dove in and did a tremendous job.
Q: Did you notice your center Kevin Mawaeâ€™s new set of braces?
A: Yeah, I saw that but I didnâ€™t want to say anything in front of you guys, but heâ€™ll hear it. Trust me.
Q: Can you relate to Ricky Williams and why he felt that he had to leave the game?
A: I know nothing about the man. Iâ€™ve never met him.
Q: But can you relate to his feelings of the game getting to be a drag?
A: I donâ€™t know much about him, but for me theyâ€™re going to have to drag me away from the game. I could never walk away like that. I canâ€™t compare myself to that.
Q: How is your health with the concussion? Is there a concern at camp once you start banging around that it could reoccur?
A: Yeah, Iâ€™m sure. Itâ€™s kind of a weird subject because nobody really knows. Itâ€™s not like you got your surgery and your rehab and youâ€™re fine now. No one really knows at this point, including me. Weâ€™ll go out there like business as usual and see what happens.
Q: Will you be limited at all?
A: Thatâ€™s all up to the trainer and the coaches. Whatever they want me to do; as much as they want me to do or as little as they want me to do, Iâ€™m fine. My whole point is that I want to get to the regular season as fresh as I can be.
Q: Are there any precautions that you can take?
A: Weâ€™ve tried everything. The best thing you can do is not get hit; either go out of bounds or score a touchdown on every play. Itâ€™s a violent game and it happens. Obviously theyâ€™ve taken every precaution possible with trying new helmets, putting the air in the helmet and whatever else. But when it comes down to it you have to be lucky out there.
Q: Like some of the hockey players, did you have post-concussion syndrome? Did you go through depression or sleepiness?
A: I donâ€™t want to get into that stuff. I went through enough of it so I know where theyâ€™re coming from.