Interview: Mike James

Mike James is expected to play a key role for the Canes this season and you can read on to see everything he's saying about the upcoming season.

On always seeming to be happy:
Yes, I'm always happy. Happy to be here.

On the competition:
I'm very excited. Every day is an opportunity to get better and to compete and to make everybody better around me. I feel great about it.

On running backs:
All of them are good. Everybody's great. From Darion Hall to Damien Berry to me to Coop, Lee Chambers, Eduardo, Storm, everybody's good.

On Cooper returning:
He's adjusting very well. He's doing a great job with his plays and learning things installed and things like that.

On who has the fastest straight ahead speed at running back:
Lamar. Lamar is the fastest. He's a track guy.

On who he feels deserves to get the playing time:
It's all about who plays the hardest and who shows up on that given day and things like that. It's really not my decision, it's the coach's decision. I'm just going to play as hard as I can and hopefully get the ball in my hands.

On whether playing fullback helped:
It helped me a lot because now I know where everybody is supposed to be. Where the defense is supposed to be, how they are supposed to fit, how a play is supposed to look, things like that. It helped me a lot.

On how he stayed positive with that move and if he feels now being at tailback is where he will be the rest of his career:
Yeah, yeah I will. Fullback was a great job, great step for me. It was good coming in and got the experience and playing and things like that. Fullback helped me out a lot. I felt like it was a great move last year for me.

On being a pass catcher:
You know I have a couple abilities with catching the ball and running routes and things like that. I use it to the best when I can and coaches and them notice and they use me in the passing game as much as they can, as much as possible.

On Cooper:
It really hasn't been very hard on Coop. Coop is a strong minded person. He works hard on everything he does. He's getting back right. Coop, you don' t have to worry about him, he's going to be just fine.

On whether he is surprised over how much he has bounced back:
No, not at all. I know Graig and how good of a guy he is and how hard he works.

On whether he feels he [Cooper] is ready to go:
Yeah, he's ready to go.

On what makes him feel that Cooper is ready to go:
I just know him. He say he's ready, he's ready.

On how the rotation will look with how many tailbacks they have:
We have a stable. We have a load. I don't know. The coach and them are going to have to call it. I just go in there practice, play hard, and do what they ask me to do. Coach as me to run, I'm gonna run.

On whether everyone has a different style:
Yeah.

On how he describes his style:
Catching the ball, power, you know things like that where you need tough yards and tuff like a ford truck.

On Damien Berry:
Damien Berry's got it all. He can catch the ball, run the ball, he know how to power too, hard nose.

On Graig Cooper:
Outside runner. He hits the outside, hits the corners, and burns guys on the edges.

On Lamar Miller:
Same thing. Lamar is a burner.

On Storm Johnson:
Storm got a little bit of both. He got a little bit of both. He always break open, but he also has power.

On whether he has bulked up:
Actually, I lost a little bit of weight but I got some muscle. I got a little bit more muscle on me.

On what he weighs right now:
Around 215.

On what he weighed last season:
Probably 220.

On whether his numbers in the weight room are up:
Yeah, things are up. Squat has went up, power clean has went up, bench has gone up.

On how much it went up:
My bench went up like 10 pounds, my squat went up 50, my power clean went up 25. I did 450 and the last time we squatted I maxed, I did 500. Power clean went from 305 to 330. It's pretty good. It's going pretty good.

On whether blocking as a fullback came natural:
My high school coaches always, they had us blocking a lot in the offense. It was kind of a second nature. I could always do it. Just simple fact of going out and playing fullback and doing it. It's different in college because you have a big difference place you have to be in perfect position at all times because they are athletes too. You know they make plays too. That's the difference that strength that power with blocking.

On how far this team can go this season:
As far as we take it. We can go very far. It's not limit to where we wanna go and the things we wanna accomplish this year.

On whether they came up with a list:
We have one goal this year, and that's to dominate every time we step on the field.

On whether it's a written goal or his goal:
It's really concrete. It's our goal. It's what we talked about. We don't even have to say anything to each other. That's what it's going to be.

On relationship with all the running backs:
It's a great relationship. We all cool. We crack jokes, we hang out, things like that. Me and Lamar we are very close. Me, and Lamar, AJ Highsmith. We are like the three musketeers. If you see one of us the other two are right behind. We are very close. Lamar is like my road dog.

On whether they talk about the competition:
We don't talk about it much. We know on the field it's business, and off the field we are friends. But on the field is business, and business is that.

On what the keys are to remaining intense from week to week:
Just mental toughness. The ability to finish games, and to understand when you are on somebody to stay stay on them and to continue to fight and claw until you just beat them and they don't want anymore.

On what part of his game he has improved on:
I would have to say making moves in the open field. I feel like I improved that a lot. I have been doing different things and working hard and doing extra things to make that an asset of my game and improve.

On speed:
Yeah, I've gotten faster. Me and Coach Swasey, we sat down and had a talk about open field ability and being able to make people miss and get passed get defensive backs and things like that. We did different things together this summer that will help me do that.

On 40 time during the spring:
I ran a 4.51.

On 40 time a year ago:
I ran like a 4.58. It went down a couple milliseconds. It's all improving. Game speed is different than 40 speed.

On having Jacory out there:
It was great having Jacory back. It's always great seeing Jacory on the field. He's a laid back, cool guy. He is the captain of the offense so he keeps us going. So it's great in the game and things like that.

On if it feels like he has been away and how he looked:
Na, Jacory looked like Jacory. Jacory hasn't lost a step, he hasn't lost anything. He is still tight on his game, everything is still together.

On whether Jacory can have an even bigger year this year:
Yeah, of course. Everybody on this team is always looking for improvement. Jacory always feels like he can be better than what he is. So of course he is looking for improvement and is going to better than what he was last year.

On Jacory telling jokes in the huddle at certain times:
Yeah. He tries to be funny but he is so laid back, you take it like ok Jacory. He tries to play a little joke. Me and him wrestle all the time because he is so much stronger than me, I don't know why, it's just what he does. He jumps on my back sometimes and tries to wrestle and things like that. That's Jacory, that's just Jacory.

On who is the funniest on the team:
DeMarcus Van Dyke and Sean Spence. They are the funniest two guys I have ever met. They just make jokes and just mimic people. They are just them. I can't explain those guys.

On Javarris James:
Me and JJ got real close last year. We still talk to this day. We chat about things. How's my things going, he asks me how things are going. I don't know. I hope James can just find his way back.


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