Q&A with Tyler Polumbus

Tyler Polumbus had shoulder surgery following the 2005 season, and finally feels like he can use the repaired limb the way he needs to as an offensive tackle. Inside, Polumbus talks about the shoulder, where he's playing right now and if missing spring set him back.

BSN: When did you get fully healthy and start working out?
Tyler Polumbus
: I've been pretty much healthy for about two months now. I had a little flair-up in my back, which was no big deal. Got over it real quick. But my shoulder got 100 percent about two months ago.

BSN: Tell me about the surgery (which was done Jan. 10).
Polumbus
: I had major reconstructive surgery on it. It was a six-month recovery. I was in a sling for six weeks. It was a pretty big deal.

BSN: How has it felt over the past couple months?
Polumbus
: It's great now. I'm stronger than I've ever been. I'm definitely stronger upper-body wise. Before I couldn't really lift as hard as I wanted to, because it hurt. And now it doesn't hurt at all.

BSN: When people blow out their knees, there's usually a mental hurdle they've got to get over when they get back on the field and make a cut or take that first hit. Is it the same thing with your shoulder?
Polumbus
: No, I don't think so. I went out there yesterday – we weren't in pads or anything, but I wasn't even thinking about it. It's not like a knee where you can't cut and move and stuff. I'm not holding back or anything.

BSN: You weren't able to be full contact in the spring, but you were out there every day. Do you feel behind at all?
Polumbus
: No, not at all. I know the offense as well as anybody. There's little things you learn as you're at the line of scrimmage, you've got to pick it up real quick. But I know the plays as well as anybody. Coach Strausser did a great job of keeping me involved in the spring, even though I wasn't able to play.

BSN: Are you practicing at left tackle or right tackle?
Polumbus
: Edwin Harrison and I both kinda went in and talked to Coach and asked if we could switch (Polumbus to left, Harrison to right). So I'm going to play left tackle and he's going to play right for now. (Strausser) still wants us to be able to play both.

BSN: Why did you want to play left?
Polumbus
: I feel more natural on the left side, and he feels more natural on the right side. In high school, I always played on the left side and always felt good over there. We both could play either side, it doesn't matter.

BSN: Is Paul Backowski playing behind you?
Polumbus
: He's still over on the right side.

BSN: Who else is playing left?
Polumbus
: Devin Head.

BSN: What did you think of Backowski's development playing for you in the spring?
Polumbus
: I think the spring was good for him. He didn't really have a choice but to play with the ones. When he first came in he was a little nervous and didn't know the plays as well as he can. It forced him to get over that and now he's played with the best and he knows he can do it. If we need to rely on him, he can step in and be accountable.


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