Could you start of talking about what it means to lose WR Will Fuller V?
“Any time you lose a player for a little bit here – the caliber of Will – it’s something the next guy’s got to step up. That’s the NFL. I mean, that’s training camp. Injuries happen, next guy, next man up. Will (Fuller V) will be back. It’s a not a season-ending injury. He’ll be back in Houston rehabbing. He’ll be back as soon as he can.”
What kind of progress was WR Will Fuller V making?
“He was doing a good job. I think you could see the jump from the first year to the second year. I think you see it with all those guys. Braxton Miller’s had a really strong camp, made some plays today. Even Nick Martin, who was early injured early last year, has made a big difference for us up front. So, you see the jump from the first year to the second year with all the guys.”
How much to do you expect from WR Jaelen Strong considering it’s his third year?
“I have high expectations for all our players. I mean, I have high expectations for Jaelen, high expectations for that whole position. I think Jaelen’s a good player. He’s had a good camp so we’ll see how it all plays out.”
Are WR Jaelen Strong and WR Braxton Miller the guys expected to step up?
“I want everybody to step up. It’s hard to say – if I say, ‘Yeah, I want these two to step up,’ is that telling the eight that you’re OK? You know what I mean? I want everybody to step up. I want everybody to come out here and play, play well, do as good a job as they can do and really just play to the best of their ability. Going back to injuries, injuries happen. It’s football. It’s a tough deal but the next guy’s got to step up.”
You mentioned C Nick Martin. What have you seen from him?
“He’s a good player. He’s a tough guy. Looking forward to watching him play in games. He hasn’t been able to play in a game yet, so I’m really looking forward to watching him play against Carolina. Keeping him healthy, that’s going to be a big key for him because he’s a very, very good player. He’s strong, smart, tough, doesn’t say much, good leader. He’s got all the intangibles you’re looking for.”
Does he help make the players around him better?
“Yeah, I think so. He’s a good communicator. He does a good job communicating with the guys left and right of him because he’s smart. I think he spends a lot of time with the quarterbacks so he knows what they’re thinking. With different calls that they’re making, he’s able to relay it and like I said, I think he’s a strong player.”
What do you get out of the group when there’s referees out there throwing flags?
“I appreciate Clete Blakeman, Bill Leavy. They’re here with their crew. They’re here for a few days. I think it’s good. I think we need to see that, see what the foul is, put it on film, teach the guys. We had a good session with them last night. They spoke to us for about a half an hour about the different rule changes, rule emphasis, things like that. That was a very positive, productive meeting. That’s part of the game. You’ve got to know the rules, you’ve got to know what’s allowed, what’s not allowed. For every player, especially the rookies, the rules relative to the NFL compared to college, very different. So, it was a good session and it’s good to have them out here.”
With WR Braxton Miller playing quarterback for so long, is it more difficult for him considering he’s only played receiver for two years?
“You’d have to ask him that. He’s picking it up really well. He was coming along last year, he got hurt against Green Bay and that was tough, but he’s really had a good spring, a very good training camp. He really understands what we’re trying to do. He enjoys playing the role that he’s playing. Made some plays out there today. I think he’s coming along fine. I think the quarterback days are over. Not saying that we would never line him up back there but I’m just saying, overall, the quarterback days are over.”
How far has WR Wendall Williams come in his time here?
“He’s doing a good job. He came up big for us in a couple games last year. Jacksonville, he came big for us in the Jacksonville game. He’s a great kid. He works very, very hard. Wendall’s thing is just being out here every day, knowing what to do, getting better every single day. You’re right, he’s probably learned more football in the last year or so than he ever learned in his whole life. But he’s doing a good job. He’s a great kid. Fun to coach.”
How tough is it to lose a guy like WR Will Fuller V?
“Any time you lose a starter, it’s not great. But at the same time, it’s the NFL. Injuries happen and you move forward. I think Will (Fuller V) was having a good camp. He won’t miss the season. He’ll be back eventually. It’s not a season-ending injury. Next guy has to step up – guys, multiple guys. We’ve got a lot of guys in that room that are talented. We went out there, some guys made some plays today, so it was good to see that. Will will be back before you know it.”
What have you thought of WR Dres Anderson?
“Doing a good job. Working hard. He’s in the battle.”
What did you think when you heard the news about WR Will Fuller V?
“I saw it. I was on the field. I’ve been through the same situation when I was in college – messed up my shoulder. It’s just one of the things that happens with football. I’m here for him. He texted me this morning, I texted him back. That was my roommate, so I’m there for.”
What’s the message to you guys when something like this happens to one of the players at your position?
“We just have to train hard. For us, as a receiver, as a group, we just have to come together as a group. We’ve got to know a little bit more assignments, we’ve got to be on the same page. We just have to step up.”
What kind of opportunity is this for you specifically?
“I’m just going to keep playing my role. Wherever coach puts me, I’m going to do my best and come out here in training camp and showcase what I can do and whatever comes, comes.”
How far have you come since you first got to the NFL?
“I’m a lot more comfortable. Last year it was kind of tough with the playbook. It was me versus the playbook last year, now it’s me versus the defense. I can understand more of the coverages, more of the technique of the routes and stuff like that. So, now it’s just like come out here and just perform.”
What did you think when you first saw the playbook as a rookie?
“It was crazy. Last year I was like ‘Wow, I’ve never seen a playbook like this.’ So now it’s like I have to put the extra time in and study. Last year I was just lining up this, just trying to figure out what’s my assignment instead of worrying about the defense and stuff like that. Now, this year, year two, I know what I’m doing in the offense and now it’s just time to beat the guy over me.”
How much better should you be this season?
“It’s all about the work I put in. It’s all on me. If the ball comes my way, make an opportunity and catch it.”
How much fun was it racing your son?
“It’s fun. They drove about five hours. It was good to see him out here. I missed him, he missed me. We FaceTime every night and just having him out there, just watching me in the stands, is a dream. It’s a dream for me having my son out there to just watch me go to work.”
How cool is it to have a little father-son time for a minute?
“It’s good. It’s always good. Just being a father and your little man gets to see you out there, putting in work and stuff.”
What’s his name?
How old is he?
Does it change your perspective on everything? Because you’ve always played football, but now you’re doing it as a dad.
“People always ask me what’s my why, and that’s one of my whys. That’s a big part of my life and so that’s one of the reasons I come out here every day, don’t complain, just do my job. It’s always in the back of my head that I’m a father, so I always go hard.”
Do you feel any more pressure to step up even more after WR Will Fuller V went down?
“No, no pressure at all. I’ve been playing the game of football for a long time. A lot of things have happened in my career. Stuff like that will happen. You just put in extra time and extra work and just rely on your ability and your family and your teammates around you.”
How much would you like to see Landon follow in your footsteps someday?
“That’s up to him. He’s a smart little kid, so maybe he might go to an Ivy League school – something like Brown like Coach OB (O’Brien) or something like that. So, I don’t know. He doesn’t have to worry about football.”
Could you talk about the depth at running back and all the competition you guys have?
“We have a lot of depth. I think all the guys, they’ve been buying in, doing their assignments. I think they’ve been doing a great job of just competing and just having fun.”
Does that help push you when you see what they’re able to do?
“I push myself every day. That’s the mindset that I have. So, regardless of the depth or anything, I’m going to push myself to be the best player that I can be.”
What do you think about the offseason and training camp RB Tyler Ervin has had so far?
“I think he’s been doing a great job. Coming in as a rookie, just getting adjusted to the NFL, learning a different system and role and things like that, it’s kind of tough as a rookie. But I think coming into his second year, I think he’s been doing a great job of just taking advantage of his opportunity and (he has) been making plays since OTAs.”
Have you been at The Greenbrier long enough to feel a difference in your body between camp in Houston and camp here?
“I think it’s not bad, to be honest, to be here. The weather’s been great. My body’s feeling good. It really doesn’t feel like camp to me. I guess the big thing is just the weather, just not being so hot, pretty much.”
How do you take care of yourself now to prepare to carry a big load during the season?
“This offseason I’ve been getting a lot of treatment, just making sure that my body is right heading into training camp. This year I just have to continue taking care of my body, eating the right things and just being there for my teammates, pretty much. I’m looking forward to this upcoming season. I think the coaches will do a great job of making me fresh and just being there when December rolls around and the playoffs (come).”
Do you want to carry the load every game?
“Yes, of course. I’m pretty sure every player wants the ball every time they get on the field, but whatever the coaches want me to do this year, I’m looking forward to the challenge. I just try to do my job to just help this team win any way possible.”
What is the message the coaches have been giving you?
“Well, they haven’t told me anything. I have the same mindset: just carry the load, try to help this team win ball games any way that’s possible. They haven’t really told me anything about my workload or anything like that.”