ORGANIZED TEAM ACTIVITIES MEDIA AVAILABILITY
Monday, May 20, 2019 | Hoag Performance Center | Costa Mesa, Calif.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS HEAD COACH ANTHONY LYNN
On the first practice of OTAs:
"For the first one out, I thought the rookies are adjusting well. The veterans are doing a really good job — you can watch them on the side — just coaching the rookies. I like to see that right now because I think those rookies can learn a lot from pros and they can learn how to be a pro. I thought it was a good, spirited practice today for the guys that were here."
On team attendance to voluntary OTAs:
"I can only worry about the 98 percent that are here. I'm glad they're here and appreciate them being here when they don't have to be here — but I think this is a very important time of the season. This is when we build the team, right now. I think it says something when you're here and you don't have to be here."
On the offseason program:
"I just know in the two months that we have together, we're better off being with each other. That's my personal feeling. Like I said, 98 percent of our guys are here and I'm happy that they're here. They certainly don't have to be, but they're here. They get three months — three-and-a-half months — to do their own thing. Between February, because I don't count January, to April 17 and then from June 13 until July 22, you can do your own damn thing. I say April 17 until June 13 — we have a really good turnout right now."
On if he has reached out to players not in attendance:
"No, that's not my job to reach out to them. I may reach out to see how they're doing. [DE] Melvin Ingram [III] had a baby. [I'll say] congratulations and things like that. I'll get the information and send him a baby gift, but that's about it."
On where his time is spent on the field at OTAs:
"I focus my efforts early on just watching individual drills. Just making sure that we're doing things that are practical, which our coaches do an outstanding job in our individual periods. The players respond to it well. I bounce around. I get to know every position, so I'm everywhere."
On DE Joey Bosa:
"I don't know what his energy is like in the locker room because I'm not in the locker room. That's the player's domain. I stay out of that locker room. On the field, he brings it every single play. He brings it."
On if any rookies have jumped out:
"It's hard in rookie minicamp because guys are learning what you're doing and they're not playing full speed. I never raise a guy or cut a guy in rookie minicamp. It's just not the time and place to do that. I'll wait until they get to about the second or third week of training camp, to be honest with you. I think that's when you get a good feel for what the rookies can do."
On S Nasir Adderley:
"He's definitely made some plays and stood out. He has to learn how to protect his teammates. He can't be running through his guys like he did today, but that's part of the learning process."
On if he had to tell Adderley to dial his intensity back a little:
"Yes, and that's normal. It is normal."
On if there is a position group that he has his eyes on:
"Like I said earlier, I'm looking at all of the positions. Wide receiver, I'm looking to see who is going to step up there. I thought [WR] Artavis [Scott] was having a heck of an offseason for us last year before he got hurt. He has picked up where he left off. We're definitely going to need someone to step up there after [WR] Travis [Benjamin on the depth chart]. You have [WRs] Keenan [Allen], Mike [Williams], Travis and then Artavis and a bunch of guys that have been around one or two years, and then some young cats. I'm looking at that group. I'm looking at running back. I'm looking at the depth that we have at the running back position and offensive line, especially the tackles. I'm looking at those quarterbacks. We have four really good quarterbacks, I believe, in camp. That's just to name a few."
On QB Easton Stick:
"I don't see the same guy [as Saints QB Taysom Hill]. I see the Saints quarterback, he's 6-3, 230 [pounds and runs a] 4.3 [40-yard dash]. My guy is 5-11, 190 pounds [and runs a] 4.6 [40-yard dash]. I don't see the same guy. Can he create? Yeah, he can create. He can do some things like that, but right now, we're just trying to teach him how to be an NFL quarterback."
On the potential for Stick to be a protector on special teams:
"For some reason, I can't see him picking up a linebacker coming down the middle at all. On punt team, I just can't see that."
On if it's an advantage for teams to have a player like Saints QB Taysom Hill:
"Oh, absolutely. The things that you can do with those guys on special teams with fakes — if they're holders or personal protectors, you can do a lot more things."
On if teams are looking for quarterbacks that can perform in multiple positions:
"Those guys are rare. If you can find one, it certainly can help your roster, but they're rare. They're hard to find."
On teaching the culture to young players:
"Like I said, I coach the veterans to coach the younger guys. I think the veterans can teach them quicker than a coach can. Surely, we can give them advice. We can help them out along the way, but I like our veteran locker room. Our players — like I said today — they were doing an outstanding job of pulling guys aside and just coaching them up on how we practice and how we do things. That's where I like to see it come from. At the end of the day, we're going to go as far as they take us. They have to understand that this is their team, so you have to give them some ownership of that. I like what they've done with it."
On what players can learn about culture better from veterans than coaches:
"Everything. How to be a pro, our concepts. They speak their language. I'm 50 years old. If I have [RB] Melvin Gordon [III] over here talking to my young back, I think that's a big difference."
On if he learned more from veterans about culture than from coaches as a player:
"No doubt, in my mind. Coaches understood that as well. That's why at the end of my career, I became a player-coach. I coached a lot of guys that came in to replace me. You see it here. You see guys competing, but at the same time, they're playing the same position. I think that says a lot about our team and our locker room when you're coaching guys that are trying to replace you."
On G Forrest Lamp getting reps at left guard:
"We have a pretty good idea where he fits in. I want to get him comfortable at both guard spots and then even get him some tackle reps later on because he played tackle in college. He needed some more versatility on the line, anyway. It's hard to take a one-position guy to the game if you're not the starter."
"I see him just going back in there, competing at the guard position first and then we'll see how it looks later on at the tackle spot. I'm going to give him every opportunity at the guard spot to win [a] job. We'll see what happens."
On TE Hunter Henry:
"He looked good today. I don't think Hunter is thinking about what happened to him last year. He had a lot of time to think about that. He's 100 percent. He's back on the field. He looked good today. It's just good to see him running around with that first unit."
On empowering veteran players to teach rookies:
"I think at some point, you do have to empower your veterans a little bit. I pick and choose when I do that, but when you do it with guys like we have in this locker room — they take those rookies aside, work with them and I think they just grow and develop a little faster. Our coaches do a heck of a job preparing with these guys and meeting with these guys, and we're there for them with any type of advice, but I still go back to we will coach the players to coach the rookies. That's just what I believe in."
On his first job:
"At 13 years old, I started working full-time in construction. I just fell in love with it. It was my summer job, it ended up being my spring break job. By the time I was a junior in high school, I was the foreman of the company and had 16 employees underneath me. By the time I was a senior in high school, I was taking ladies to design centers and picking out things for the homes. First, it started out as me just taking them. Then, I started helping them pick things out. Then, I became the person to do it. I actually went to Texas Tech as a fashion and interior designer for a little while before I changed majors. I just have a passion for it. I grew up with it. I like creating things and using my imagination. A lot of it is very similar to what we do in football."
On if he does any construction or design in his down time:
"I used to, but now that I'm coaching I don't have time. I used to flip homes, I used to build homes on the side, but I was playing then. Coaching, that's another story. You don't have the hours to do things like that."
On what he did at 13 years old in construction:
"I started out on the labor-side. I was walking the yards, cleaning everything up and toting sheetrock everywhere. Then I kind of gradually grew from sheetrock, to two-by-fours, two-by-sixes and then designing a little bit."
On if it's tougher to build houses or an NFL team:
"You know, you don't have to deal with all of the different personalities when you're building houses. I would definitely say an NFL team."
On playing golf:
"I love the game of golf. I play it every chance I get in the offseason, which is not very often, but I'm in no position to be challenging anybody on the golf course."
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR GUS BRADLEY
"It's good to get everybody back out here. Obviously, there is a little bit of rust with our guys, but our tempo and enthusiasm that our guys came out with is good to see. Plus, all of the personalities with all the rookies and a guy like [LB] Thomas Davis [Sr.] coming in, just meshing those personalities. It's a good first start."
On telling S Nasir Adderley to dial back the intensity a little:
"He's competing. I know exactly the play because he came after me, too. I shouldn't mention that, I suppose. It's really clear in my mind. He's trying to figure everything out, the speed at which we practice. Everybody wants to go out there, try to impress and do well. He'll learn from it. We would rather see that and have to dial it back than the other way. He's picking things up at a fast pace."
On where the majority of his time is spent during an OTA practice:
"It is challenging because you want to evaluate your players and there's also that part where you want to evaluate scheme, see how you're doing and how fast guys are picking it up. If there are mistakes, what group is making the mistakes so that, as we move forward, [we can see] how we want to install stuff. Primarily, we're looking at just players at this point in time. Just seeing how they pick things up, how they learn, how they recover from a mistake. You try to see all the different angles, the defensive line, the linebackers and the back end."
On progress made by rookies over the last two weeks:
"Rookie minicamp is invaluable just for them to be able to come out here, get lined up and play. They have an idea of how the call system works, how they get in a huddle. All of those things, I think, take a little bit of the pressure off of them to where they can just kind of play and really put their attention into the scheme."
On DT Jerry Tillery:
"He's very long. Obviously, when you see him walking around with that length that he has. He's very active, too, as a three-technique rusher. To put those things in combination — what's going to be tough in training camp is we'll have to see how he is against the run. He showed up on tape doing some good things there, too. Hopefully, he's a really good run defender, but will give us that little extra as a rusher, too. The ability to bat balls down, that's one thing that you don't talk about much, but to get a batted ball with the defensive lineman with height — that length that he has, we're hoping that will benefit us as well."
On the importance of a push up the middle against quick passing:
"I think pushing the pocket benefits it, you're right, in the quick [passing] game. When you can push the pocket inside, it helps the edge guys. It allows them to really come off the edge knowing that pocket is going to be pushed. I think it helps two-fold like that."
On DE Joey Bosa:
"When he walked in the building, it was great to see him. You can count on Joey. He's going to come back in great shape. He looks awesome. He feels really good. To get him back on the field — just that brotherhood part where the guys are together again. I think that's important. You can always count on him. It's great to see him, he looks to be in great shape."
On defending a player like Saints QB Taysom Hill:
"I think there are a couple things: One, it depends on when you play them in the season. Just a little bit about what the Saints did well, they kept adding to what he did. If you had to play them the first game, you're kind of flying a little bit by the seat of your pants because you don't know how they're going to utilize him. Then you have some games that you see him, but they put him in so many situations that it's a challenge. You can say, 'Hey, we know he's in the game,' but you don't know where he's going to line up and what he's going to do. It really comes back to that you have to play your rules then. You have to rely on rules football."
On what he noticed about Hill in joint practices:
"Just his speed. You rarely see a guy that size with that type of speed. Sometimes you see speed and you go, 'Well, he's going to play wide receiver,' but because of his size, he can play multiple positions."
On re-signing NT Damion Square:
"He's such a leader to our group. He's one of those guys that you can count on all during the week of practice, but also Saturday night after the meeting, he's one of the guys that will speak. With that, it's because the guys respect him so much. He has that ability. It's not about him. When he's out here, he will help those guys — a [Jerry] Tillery, a [NT Justin] JJ [Jones]. He's very much into helping those guys develop and he knows how important they are. He's just a tremendous team player as well as a talented player for us."
On Square's development as a player:
"All I've seen, I have unbelievable respect for him. I know when he first initially got here, there was a growing period it sounds like, but since I've been here, he's been unbelievable. That growing period, that's what everybody goes through. I think where he stepped up his game was his leadership."
On when rookies should show aggressiveness and intensity:
"[They're] learning the position. There are going to be some plays [they] make out there where [they] forget where they are and the tempo of the practice. We'll get that dialed back, but you're right, that aggressiveness — there's no doubt that we're going to look the play and see [Nasir Adderley's] acceleration. We'll say, 'Yeah, yeah, yeah we have to talk to him. He can't do that it's about protecting the team.' Now, let's take a stronger look at it and see him run and see him come out of his break with that acceleration. We'll evaluate that play, but first and foremost, we have to protect each other."
On if any rookies have jumped out:
"Obviously, Nas [Adderley] showed up pretty good. I would say, overall, [LB] Drue Tranquill — I thought he really showed up. He's calling the whole defense. His intellect is sharp. Not only being able to line up, but also able to execute the techniques. Sometimes you can call it and get lined up, but to also where we say, 'That's exactly how we taught it.' I thought he picked up on it pretty quickly."
On LB Drue Tranquill:
"He's a guy that we're starting off at MIKE right now, but he might be a guy that gives us that versatility. [Linebackers] Coach [Richard] Smith does a great job of having those guys learn all three spots."
On Tillery observing practice:
"We have a saying that I think everybody has probably heard, 'Be anxious for nothing.' He says, 'I want it to be training camp, I wish it was training camp so I can get out there and play.' It's not, so don't miss today. Just get everything you can [out of today]. You can learn so much. If you take advantage of this time period right now, the game will slow down for it. That's the challenge that he is in."
On if QB Easton Stick has similarities to Hill:
"I watched a little bit of [film on Hill], I don't know. It still is really from training camp when we went against [Hill]. I don't know exactly everything they did with him during the season. It's hard for me to compare what our offense plans."
"Just knowing people up there [at North Dakota State], there's a tremendous respect for him. I mean, when we drafted him I got multiple texts from people in Fargo, [N.D.], you can tell there is a passionate love for him as a person and what he brings — how he was good in the community, how he was good to younger players, how he was good to young kids in the community. Over and over again. I'm looking forward to getting to know him even more because it sounds like he's that type of person."
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS DEFENSIVE END JOEY BOSA
On changing to No. 97:
"I've been just meaning to do that for a while now. I think they told me it would be $500,000 if I wanted to do it last year, so I was like, 'Uh, I think I can wait one more year.' The free change was much better than that."
On No. 97 in his family:
"My dad, my brother [49ers DE Nick Bosa] and I, we've been wearing that through high school and college. I mean, my brother wore my exact jersey through high school. Probably not through college, but the same number. It's just a cool tradition. I'd like to keep it going."
On seeing his brother drafted second overall:
"It was unbelievable. The whole experience was great, being out there with everybody. It doesn't really hit you until you're in that moment when you're giving a hug and you can't believe how far we both have come. I'm just so thankful to have parents like we do and to be all together, embracing in that moment — there aren't many times in your life that you feel like that."
On 49ers DE Nick Bosa being drafted one spot higher than him:
"No, [there's no rivalry]. I was crying like a baby, hugging him. If he went any later, I would be sweating and nervous at that point. I was hoping he would go No. 1, but No. 2 is great, too. There's no rivalry really in that sense."
On Nick also playing on the West Coast:
"It's definitely [cool] for my parents. There are a few times that our schedules kind of match up. He plays the [Los Angeles] Rams, I believe when we're home — which is nice. I'll get to see him. My parents, having to fly from East to West and then back to East for one of his games would be a pain in the butt. What's it, like a six-and-a-half hour drive? Not bad. Not that I'll ever make the drive, but if I could, it's close enough."
On being back in the building and meeting new teammates:
"It's good. It takes me a while to learn names. I'm just trying to go straight to them and introduce myself to them right away. Just being back out is great. There is nothing, really, like playing football. I'm going to feel it a bit tomorrow, of course, but just to be able to rush a little bit and run around with your teammates is always great. It's always great to see all of the coaches."
On any advice he has for rookies:
"I mean, anything they have to ask me, I'm there and open. They came to me with a few technique things today. I guess a good thing to tell them is to ask questions and look to an older guy if they're unsure about anything or have any questions. Don't be quiet about it, make sure you ask. To the best of my ability, I'll give them an answer."
On advice he asked for as a rookie:
"I just wanted to continue on with my skill-set, pass rush and work with some of the best guys in the world at what they do. I kind of got thrown right in the No. 1 mix right away, so I had to adapt pretty quickly. I think watching guys and seeing how they go about their day and routine and stuff like that is really important to find out when you're younger."
On being in good shape entering OTAs:
"Thanks, it's probably just the haircut. I think it's just been a process for the past three years, past four years. Every year, I'm trying to get better. I'm trying to eat better, train harder — I mean not harder because I'm always training as hard as I can, but it just doesn't happen in one year. I think it's just a process of learning how to eat, thanks to my mom. She cooks for me almost every single night — for me and my brother. God knows that's a lot of food. Thanks to her and I have a great chef out here for the nutrition standpoint. Training in Florida, it's a little humid and a little hot out there, so you're going to be sweating and losing weight. I think I'm in a good spot right now. I'm about the same weight as I usually am. I'm just trying to stay lean. It's not really just a focus or anything, but it just happens with the way I carry myself."
On voluntary OTAs:
"The last two or three years, I've come at this time. I mean, you can do all the drills you want at home. You could train and work out as much as you want, but when it comes to football, it's hard to replicate that 11-on-11. [Defensive Line] Coach Giff [Smith] wants me here at this time. It's 10 practices and then a minicamp, so it's hardly that much work, but it's a good time to knock the rust off and get practicing with your hands and pass-rush. If you miss all of this and you show up in camp, you're rusty then. You want to be rolling by that point."
On importance of OTAs to team bonding:
"Yeah, of course. Any time all of the guys are together — I'm sure the past month that they've been here, I've been hearing things have been great. Any time guys are sweating and working together, it brings people closer together. I think this team, it seems like it's been the same kind of core for years now. Every single year and every single day, really, guys get closer and more relationships are built, especially with the new guys coming in."
On his health:
"As expected, I deal with soreness here and there, but there has been nothing limiting me — no movement or anything. I'm as fast and strong as I've ever been in my life. It's just about some little things like my hands and stuff, but as a defensive lineman, you're going to deal with that stuff. I just have to take care of myself in that sense, tape up and keep doing what I'm doing. Just take care of my body after practice and I think I'll be fine. I'm feeling really good."
On if he avoided surgery:
"Yeah, that was definitely the main goal because it would have been a Lisfranc-type of surgery, which is not what I was trying to go through at all. Once you kind of put something in your foot, it's not your foot anymore. If you could have it heal without surgery, I think that's the best option and you'll have the most strength at that point. I've taken it slow and had some rest after the season. I'm just training. Running every day, it's been strengthening over time and getting better."
On continued soreness:
"I could see it [continuing], but it's nothing that's bothering me. It's not causing a limp or anything. It's just there. It's just something I notice. It's been getting better all offseason, so I could definitely see by camp or maybe even next year where it kind of starts fading away. Once you get into season, it gets pretty intense, so we'll see."
On his weight:
"I think I'm just leaner. Less fat, I guess. Muscle weighs more. I'm about the same, 265 [pounds]. I lost a lot of weight last year with my foot and not being able to lift legs very heavy. It was definitely a process to get here. I've been eating so much lately. When you're sweating like you do out in Florida, it's a good combination. This time of year during OTAs, there is a lot of food around here and I don't sweat nearly as much as when I'm at home. I usually put on — last year I put on too much weight, but I'll probably put on five or so pounds, which will fall right off during the summer."
On his playing weight:
"Yeah, 270, 268. I'm around there now."
On his cameo on Game of Thrones:
"It was great. It was a lot of work and time. It was freezing cold in Belfast in the middle of the night. I wish I could have gotten a little more air time. I don't know if anyone saw that picture, which I still don't 100 percent know if it was me or not. I'm going to go with it. Of course, [Packers QB] Aaron Rodgers gets a whole five seconds of him getting blown up. Maybe if it just timed up differently, not with the darkest episode ever made in TV history, you could have seen me a little better."
On the show's finale:
"I love the writers. They're great guys, so I'm just going to keep my opinions to myself. Thanks for having me out there."
On if there is another show he'd want to have a cameo on:
"I'm good with that. If it's going to end up me being in the background — I mean, my head for 0.3 seconds, I'd rather just sit that one out. I'm not the acting-type, I don't think."
On veteran mentors when he was a rookie:
"We had some great veterans [with some] who are still here — [NT] Brandon Mebane and [former DT] Corey [Liuget]. Both of them and [DE] Melvin [Ingram III], of course. Having guys like that who have been around for so long and been in the program for a while — not Mebane, he was new [too]. You can't put a price on that. Just like I was talking about earlier, about the routine and how to carry yourself as a professional. They were different positions than me, but you can still carry things over, and knowing how to take care of yourself and going about being a pro."
On his performance at New England in the postseason:
"You know, I think my first half of that game was really disappointing. The second half was kind of exciting. It gave me a little bit of life and excitement going into the offseason. We did pretty well as a team in the second half, but at that point, it was kind of out of reach. I think I rushed really well, kind of better than I did all season, in that second half. It didn't show up stat-wise, but looking back, I was playing much better ball that second half. I really thought we had a good chance going into that game, but it's hard being there for the first time and they've been there however many times. I think, just being in that situation before will help us the next time if we get there again."
On previous experience being a factor:
"I would say so. I mean, just the length of that season with guys wearing down. I think being experienced in that kind of pressure and that kind of situation — I mean, you're playing the Patriots [on the road] in a chance to go to a [conference] championship game. You can't say enough about our transformation from my rookie year to now, but we're definitely going to have to bring more if we are going to beat a team like that."
On the impact of having postseason games at home:
"I love not traveling. Any time we get to stay home — I don't care about our stadium or whatever — I like staying home. I don't like getting on a plane after you've been working hard all week and then you have to fly across the country. I'll take a home game all day, any day. I don't care if it's the other team packing the stadium or not. I think it could have been an advantage, I'm not going to make an excuse like that makes the difference. Personally, I like playing at home, being comfortable at my place and staying in my routine."
On having better attendance of Chargers fans at home games:
"I mean, I was just kind of making a joke [in my last answer]. If you were at the Ravens game last year, that was a real game right there. That was a real atmosphere. I feel like it will carry over. I mean, it's like anything — if you play well and you win, they'll come. People hated me until I got a sack and then they love me. All you have to do is play well and people will come watch you play. It's as simple as that."
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS RUNNING BACK AUSTIN EKELER
On his offseason:
"It's been great. There has been time to get your body back in shape without getting beat up. That's what I've been focusing on. Sculpting my figure, just for me especially because through the season, I like to be at a certain weight and I just drop down throughout the entire season because you don't lift as much."
On showing his workouts on YouTube:
"I've always enjoyed recording my workouts. I did it in college. I like to watch myself and post them on my social media page. I wanted to maybe step it up a little bit. I was in Australia with one of my old teammates who manages a gym. I was out there, recording some videos and having fun with it, seeing how it was and playing around with the editing. It's really hard, actually, if you haven't tried. I was just having fun and wanted to experiment a little bit. I'll probably keep going with it. It's kind of a seasonal thing just because I don't have a lot of time to be spending editing and things like that. Probably after OTAs, I'll do that segment between getting ready for training camp and the rest of the season as well."
On the number of one-armed pullups he can do:
"Probably still just two, it's pretty hard."
On the response to him posting his workouts:
"I've read a couple of comments, but I really don't know. I started a page and put my link in my Instagram. That's about it. A lot of my family will call me and say, 'We liked your video,' and things like that. It's just fun for me to go back and watch them."
On his trip to Australia:
"It's different. You drive on the other side of the road. The food is different. It's just a different culture. It's similar because they speak the same language, but as far as restaurants and things like that, you don't tip over there. There are little things here and there that you wouldn't even think about on a regular-day basis. As far as the atmosphere, the beaches are gorgeous. The weather was summer when I was out there and it was winter here. I've had good weather all year now."
On his health:
"I feel as good as I'll probably feel this year. I had my ribs in the beginning of the season and then my neck — or my spine — toward the back half of the season, which I think really affected my play when I watched the tape. Just wearing the neck roll messes with your balance a lot. Right now, I'm feeling 100 percent. My left arm, it took a few months to be back to full strength. I know right away I was super nervous because I couldn't even curl a 20-pound weight with my arm. It felt fine. There was nothing wrong muscular, but as far as the connection of my brain to my nerves to my arm, it was damaged. That was pretty scary, but it's 100 percent now. I'm just trying to keep it that way."
On if the play where his neck was injured was a cheap shot:
"100 percent. I got the top of his helmet right into my face. No question."
On what he wanted to improve this offseason:
"Definitely my routes just because I want to be more involved in different places. [Offensive Coordinator Ken] Whiz [Whisenhunt] always talks about how we want to change up and give defenses different looks. That involves me getting out of the backfield and into the slot when [RB] Melvin [Gordon III] is still in the game. Now, we have two running backs in the game so we're giving them a different look. I need to have my routes and have [QB Philip] Phil [Rivers] trust me that I'm going to be in the right spot and trust myself that I'm going to be able to win in space."
On playing out of the slot last season:
"Yeah, I thought we had a lot of success with it. We were trying to incorporate as many things so that we can do different looks. We might use it a lot more or might not. We just want to have it be available. For me, as an individual going forward, too. Just as a player."
On entering his third NFL season:
"Shoot, it feels like I'm a vet now. I come in and see the rookies coming in. I remember that. I talked to these guys. I said, 'Hey, your whole life right now is just studying because I know. I've been there. I was the sixth-string running back coming in and undrafted.' I wore No. 3. You can't even wear No. 3 as a running back in the league. I've been there. Now, looking back, it's a great journey to watch. I've had success with it, obviously, so that makes it even better. Just as far as seeing these young guys out here, messing up, [I tell them], 'Don't get discouraged.' You have time to go through. I just feel so comfortable as far as with the team and the scheme. It allows me to grow as a player in different aspects."
On if rookies are picking his brain over his story:
"100 percent. [WR Jason] Smoove [Moore], I think his name is Jason, he came from Division-II. I'm glad. He was asking me questions and said, 'Can I get your number?' Yeah, let's link up. Whatever you want to know, I'm here to help you out because I was the same way. I was looking for any advice from anybody — please help me — because I was the only running back, too, so that was a different thing. It was all older guys. I didn't have another rookie to bounce stuff off with."
On if studying is the biggest piece of advice he has for rookies:
"Out here, right now, yeah. Studying is definitely the biggest thing right now just because right here we don't have pads on. You're not going to be blowing anyone up or making huge plays like that. It's more a technique thing right now. Sure, you want to be playing fast, obviously, but you can't play fast. I remember, if I just had OTAs or minicamp, I wouldn't have made the team. I was all over the place. I was messing up and playing slow, but it was because I was thinking so much. 'Okay, what do I have to do? Oh, we changed the play.' It's just a mental game right now. That's what OTAs are for. It's kind of slower and we fine-tune it and get it down by the training camp comes. That's when you really need to prove yourself. That's when you do need to be making plays. We have shoulder pads on now. You don't want to be thinking then, and in the season? Even more so."
On the running backs group:
"Our room is fun right now. I love it. We all see things in different ways. We all mesh. Just through this offseason, I feel like we came together more than ever. Mel [Gordon] isn't here right now, but he's texting us every once in a while. He's texting me, too, on plays, saying, 'Hey, what did you do this for?' I messed up on a play and he texted me the other day, 'What the heck?' He's still watching film. We succeed in different ways. [RB] Justin [Jackson], he's more of a little quick-twitch guy. I'm a slant-cutter. Mel, he does it all and runs people over. I don't know how he does it, he's just slippery. It helps us see different things. I would have done this, this way — you would have done that, that way. That's fine. With us right now, we have younger guys with [RB] Detrez [Newsome], [RB Troymaine] Busta [Pope] and [RB] Jeremy [Cox]. It helps us when we're teaching them the scheme and how it works. We're teaching them and it's teaching us, too, to see things different ways. I'm excited about our room."