Figs discusses move to RT (part 1)

Senior Joel Figueroa, a starter at guard the last two seasons, was recently moved to right tackle and he talked about that move, the upcoming season, and more below. Read on to see everything he's talking about.

On the offseason:
Offseason's been real good. We had a great summer workout. Everybody was competing and we are just ready to go, can't wait for camp to start, a week from today. Just excited about this season and excited how it's been a process. Coach Shannon being the head coach, starting off first year he only won five games, next year seven, and then after that nine. We get better every year. We are looking to compete, keep working hard, and everything is falling into plan, so everything is looking pretty good. We just want to carry it on into the season.

On being moved to right tackle:
To tell you the truth, coming in as a recruit especially with Coach Stoutland, he teaches the o-line to learn every position because I know it sounds cliché, but we are one, we are a unit, telling us to have a better relationship with the guy next to you. It's good to know his assignment, his technique, and you can carry it out better, better blocks, double teams, and what not. I knew tackle already. Like the center now knows tackle, everybody does. So it pretty much is just changing my technique just a little bit, tweaking things, and just moving up to the outside. Being one of the most experienced guys on the o-line, its just stepping up to the plate and doing what the coaches ask of me to make the team better.

On when they presented moving him to right tackle:
Not too long ago. Maybe a couple of weeks back. Again, it's not a surprise to me, usually we have the most experienced guys going to the outside to protect the quarterback. We are just going to handle what we have to do.

On what the biggest challenge is to moving to right tackle:
The biggest challenge I will say, is I have to be more patient. As on the inside, when playing guard, I can be more aggressive, there is more room for error, I got two guys on my outside just in case I make a mistake or get to over aggressive. The tackle spot is more finesse. I have to use more technique, more than I would getting away with just strength.

On whether he played tackle in any games last season:
No, not in the games. In certain formations I was out, or I did play a couple plays. Like I said, it's the same thing as guard to me. Execution. I have no problem and in practice I get plenty of reps so I'll be alright.

On getting used to pass protection at tackle:
Yeah of course. You are going against, like I said, we have I would say the best d-line, so I have the best guys to prepare against, and I've lost a couple of pounds, so I will be ready to go. I had to slim down, get my kick slide right. I give all credit to the d-line, that I get such a good group of guys to help me out and I will be ready to go.

On how many pounds he has dropped:
Maybe twenty something pounds, I'm not sure. This summer I lost a couple of pounds. It went up and down. I lost more than I weigh now. I weigh more than I lost. I lost some but gained some back in muscle. Right now I am like 318.

On who was telling him to lose weight:
I knew, but more like Swasey, our strength and conditioning coach, he was telling me it would be in my best interest to get down, cut down on a few pounds, and it would make it easier playing on the outside.

On when the last time was that he was at 318 lbs:
In high school I was down to 305, 310, 315. Freshman and sophomore year, well, freshman year not sophomore year.

On whether he was 350 lbs. last year:
No, that was like two and a half years ago, but I played at 340 last year, close to it.

On whether he has ever played tackle in his career:
Yeah, I played tackle in high school, so you know I just got to get back to those days and execute on the field.


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