Q & A with John Frady
Q: You probably take some pride being that versatile guy that they can kind of stick in anywhere. Is that sort of your thing?
A: Yeah, I am kind of the swingman for the line. I can play any of the three positions on the inside.
Q: How different are left and right guard?
A: They are not terribly different. It's just a matter of flipping the play over, honestly. You do the same thing on "52" as you did on "53" and vice versa.
Q: Last year, you flipped positions a little bit. Does that mean that you will have a little bit of an idea of what you have to do on the right side this year?
A: Absolutely not. Different offense last year, nothing is the same from last year as it is this year. Last year we were playing a strong side and a weak side and this year we play a true right side and left side.
Q: How many plays do you have under your belt at guard?
A: Four plays.
Q: Which game did that come in?
A: This last one (on the second to last series). I was in there to run the ball and kill the clock. I got one series with the ones at the end at left guard. Not even right guard.
Q: So, you have never played right guard before?
A: Other than this past spring, I have never gone live at right guard before. I've played a little center though.
Q: Is this a little déjà vu seeing as you got your first start at center at UVA a few years ago?
A: I got my first start at center and now I get my first start at guard. Let's just hope that I don't ever have to start against them at tackle because than we will be in trouble.
Q: Did you envision all of the pieces moving around when Meinrod came out and everyone knew it was serious?
A: When I saw Meinrod laying on the field, I wasn't thinking about anything but, "God, just let him get up." All that he had done for this team and all the work that he put in after he blew his ACL out last year, to get back and be 100 percent this year and all the work that went in to that, to just see it all go away for him - that was hard.
Q: At what point do you have to stop kind of mourning him and think about these practical things?
A: Obviously, after the game we knew what was going to have to be done. That's just not something that you want to think about – capitalizing on an opportunity that you've got because your buddy is sitting on the ground with a broken leg.
Q: When did they come to you and say, "You're it"?
A: I found out this morning.
Q: Can you talk a little bit about the decision to move you to right guard for the rest of the season?
A: I think that it just made the most sense for me to move over to that side to keep the people that are experienced on the field and to prevent us from having to do too much of an overhaul on the line.
Q: How much cross training do you guys do at practice to help in case of an injury?
A: With all of us trying to get used to the new system, there hasn't been any time for people to try to really learn multiple positions except for myself. Everyone is just trying to get that continuity where we can function as a unit. That would make it immensely harder having people trying to learn positions completely foreign to what they are already doing. It's not a big deal for a guard to go to the other guard but it would be a pretty big deal for a tackle to move to guard.
Q: Even for Cory Niblock (who used to play guard and tackle)?
A: In the old offense, he obviously played both positions but with the new…he hasn't played any guard under the new system. That would be a lot of stuff to try to learn in one week before we play again.
Q: Last week, had you been splitting reps at guard and center at practice?
A: Last week in practice, I went a 100 percent at left guard. I didn't play any center last week.
Q: Is that because Dumaka Atkins has come along so well or the coaches are just at the point where they know what you can do at center, you need to get more work at guard?
A: That's what it is. Coach (Mark) McHale knows that I can play center. I've been coming in there for (David Castillo) now for three years. Just trying to get me ready in the event that I had to play guard and it has come to pass.
Q: Do you feel like this unit has no margin for error now, no room to get nicked up?
A: We've got plenty of depth at tackle. Mario (Henderson) and (Ron Lunford), they've both played a lot and we have 100 percent confidence in both of those guys that they can get it done. In the middle, it's a little dicier. We've got a lot of talented young guys that just really haven't gotten the chance to play. Dumaka Atkins has made great strides this year and he was hurt a lot last year. He has come on very well this year. Obviously, Jacky (Claude) and Cornelius (Lewis) have both played very well but it's different having an experienced lineman than it is having someone with talent who has not been in there before.
Q: Will your ability to recognize fronts as a center help you as a guard?
A: Me and Dave (Castillo) were talking about that earlier. It's going to be nice having two centers on the field at once – two guys that can read the defense. That'll allow us to do more than we could before. For instance, while Dave is looking at the base front where the linebackers are and getting his pre-snap looks there, I am freed up. I can check the secondary. From reading the secondary - reading the coverage - I can direct towards the blitz and try to find out where the blitz is coming from. That's just something that you can't do while you are having to call the I.D. and worry about the front seven.
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