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Q&A with Louis Vasquez
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Michael Geneslaw; Oak Park, Calif.
How do you feel about the defense compared to last year?
I feel that they’ve improved significantly in the running and passing game. The secondary has really tightened down their coverage and the front seven has tightened down as well. They are playing more aggressive and knowing their assignments on what to do and who’s going to be where.
Yorgo Nikolakis; Calgary, Alberta, Canada
You look quicker and more decisive coming off the ball in the running game. Did you make any changes to your offseason workouts?
No changes. It’s more about me being more comfortable than last year. As a rookie, I got thrown into the fire and I had to learn on the run. I think the comfort is helping me to be more decisive.
Sergio Salgado; Chula Vista, Calif.
I've had the opportunity to meet you once last year at the 32nd Naval Station practice and again this year. Your demeanor is very calm, relaxed and polite with the fans. How are you able to reverse this state of mind on Sundays playing such a vicious sport and going up against physical players?
When I’m on the field, I’m never overly tense. If people play tense, most of the time they will gas themselves the first couple of plays. I try to keep myself reserved but maintain a certain level of intensity. When we are in the huddle, or during a television timeout, I will crack a joke with the guys to keep calm. It’s the way I am on the field. But my intensity starts once the play begins.
Mark Kleinsoe; Silkeborg, Denmark
Did you ever think that you were going to play in the NFL while you were playing high school football?
I always dreamed of it, but when I was playing high school football I never thought it would become a reality. I never thought I would play college football until I got my first scholarship offer. Freshman year (in college) you don’t even think about playing in the NFL because you want to learn the system and start playing. As I progressed in college I started talking to scouts later on in my college career. But I didn’t think much about it in college.
John Mcguane; Susquehanna, Pa.
If called upon, do you think you can play at the tackle position and do you have any interest at playing tackle?
I’ll play wherever they put me. I played tackle my entire life until I got to college. They moved me to left guard because that was the position where coach told me I would get to the field the fastest. They put me in at right guard and I played there throughout my college years. I played some left tackle here and there as needed.
Matt Shoffeitt; Hemet, Calif.
What are the best things to eat while tailgating?
I’m from Texas so I like barbecue. I like ribs, hamburgers and hot dogs. Classics. I prefer Earl Campbell hot links. That’s where it’s at.
Michael McCracken; Van Nuys, Calif.
Have you had to adjust your blocking techniques to mesh with Ryan Mathews’ style? Are there any noticeable differences?
No. We’ve been focusing on the details more than last year. The details are what hurt us last year. But now that we are focusing on the small, minute details, it has made the running games so much easier. With the speed and energy that Ryan has, it’s made the running game that much easier with our technique as well.
Israel Hernandez; Oceanside, Calif.
Are you aware that you play for a team with a large Hispanic fan base, and does that appeal to you at all?
It gives me a sense of comfort. Being one of the few Hispanic (players) in the league is rare in itself. Having a huge fan base makes me feel more comfortable and (gives me) a sense of pride. I’m proud of where I come from and who I represent.
Gregory Siota; Imperial, Calif.
What have you learned about this level of football from Nick Hardwick and Kris Dielman?
The details are what I’ve learned the most. The big things come easy, (but) it’s the small things you have to look and ask for help. The little things usually (keep) you from being good enough to start or make the Pro Bowl like Nick Hardwick and Kris Dielman.
Jose Castaneda; Fontana, Calif.
What CDs are in your car right now?
I have an iPod hook-up now. My main genre is hip hop. Eminem, Drake and Lil Wayne. Me being from Texas, there’s some country too. Some R&B, Spanish and alternative music. It all depends on my mood. (I prefer) hip hop before the game. Something with an upbeat tempo.
Tim Shaw; Valencia, Calif.
Do you have a favorite pregame meal?
Filet mignon, cooked medium with Heinz 57, with potatoes and some broccoli.
Gavi Stulberg; Ottawa, Canada
Louis, you were among the top performers in the bench press at the scouting combine coming out of college. What's the most you ever lifted?
My one-rep max was 530 pounds. Read