Going One-on-One With OL Justin Lewis

Maryland sophomore offensive lineman justin Lewis talks to TSR about the Terps upcoming season.

Q: So how's camp going?

A: Camp is going good, our offense is doing a lot better, especially on the O-Line, we've been coming together as far as bringing all of the individual units together. We always tend to have good receivers, the quarterbacks always look good, but now they're good together, and it's making us all better as a team.

Q: Coach Friedgen has said that you're ahead of Bennett Fulper for the starting RG spot. What do you think about that?

A: I just know that I've been to practice every day and worked hard and I know Bennett has the done the same thing. The coaches will play the person who is best suited for the situation, and now I guess they've figured that is me.

Q: What do you think you bring to the line?

A: I think I bring a good attitude, I've been working on staying positive towards everybody, making sure that everybody feels comfortable, because I want everybody to feel comfortable with the fact that I'm about to step into that role. I bring aggression, I'm real aggressive when it comes to how I play, and also I've got my pickups down better as far as what I have to do, so I'm more knowledgeable of the game, whereas last year I was very physical, just as I am now, but I didn't know as much.

Q: What do you think you have to work on?

A: I have to learn, get more knowledge of the game. Better footwork, learn to react quicker to some of the things we're seeing, because we're seeing a lot, our defense is very good.

Q: Do you consider yourself a better pass blocker or run blocker?

A: To be honest, I would love to say pass blocker, because that's one of the things that I've really had to work on, but I think I'm a better run blocker at this point in time.

Q: You see a lot on TV shows and in movies that the O-line usually has a camaraderie going on. Does that exist with you guys this year?

A: Yeah, we're really a group that works a lot together, on and off the field. I see my O-line teammates all over the place. We hang out, we do stuff together, we had our second annual O-line barbecue this year where we just come together, have food, and just hang out on a Friday night where some people would be off doing their own thing.

Q: Do you think that will help your guys' performance on the field?

A: Yeah, it definitely will, because we trust each other more. I trust [center] Paul [Pinegar] and [right tackle] R.J. [Dill] as far as their knowledge of the game, and me, growing into my role, now that I'm more knowledgeable of the game they can trust me a lot more. There's nothing better than playing next to somebody that you like.

Q: In terms of your position battle with Bennett, do you think that helped you play better?

A: The thing is, you can't go out there with the mindset of “I want to take his spot.” You've got to go out there with the mindset of “I've got to do my job, I've got to execute.” At the end of the day, it's not a battle between me and Bennett, because we're both going to get significant playing time. I'm going to play as hard as I can to be the starter, that's true, but at the end of the day, me and Bennett are going to have to work together.

Q: What are your goals this year?

A: My goal is just to do everything in my power to help the team win, anything I can do on and off the field.

Q: How well do you think this team's going to do this year?

A: I think we're going to be really good. We work hard every day, and we get along. We always push each other, so we work hard.

Q: When people talk about Navy, they're usually talking about the triple option. But Navy's defense is different too, it's a lot quicker and smaller than other teams'. Have you done anything to adjust?

A: We've got our gameplan, and we just have to execute. If you execute, it doesn't matter what the defense does.

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