The following is a transcript of how Ole Miss senior TB BenJarvus Green-Ellis answered a multitude of questions from reporters at SEC Media Days Friday.
Q: What is the difference for you in this year and last year, when you were new to the team?
BJGE: It's a tremendous honor for me to be here representing my team at SEC Media Days. Just to be in this position is a great honor to me. I just want to go out every day and help my team the best I can. Anybody on our team can ask me for anything and I will do it for them.
Q: Do you feel you have a different role this year?
BJGE: I have become a little more vocal as a senior leader and that's not really been my thing in the past. I have spoken up some, but I try to pick my spots. I have been around guys who talk all the time and it can lose its effectiveness and get on the nerves of your teammates. I have seen that side of the coin too. You can lose your teammates talking too much, but if you pick your spots, and you have the respect of your team, it carries more weight.
Q: How important is it for the running game to get off to a good start since the QB position is not solidified right now?
BJGE: We will have a starting QB before the season starts, so that is not that big a deal. But we always want to get off to a fast start.
Q: After spring, what did you think you had to improve heading into your senior season?
BJGE: Everything. I wasn't good enough last year. We only won four games, so obviously nobody did enough. That's how we all have to look at it. We didn't finish last year, so that means I didn't finish either. That is my focus for this year - finishing and getting everything I can get out of every play I'm on the field. We all have to take that stance to be successful.
Q: If Seth Adams is the QB, and experience is lacking, does the running game have to take more of a load early on?
BJGE: Whoever wins the job, we will be comfortable with him running the whole offense. We need to run the ball well and pass it well, no matter who is doing either. Put it this way - we don't feel any pressure one way or the other. We all have to produce - running game, passing game, all of us.
Q: How many times would you like to carry the ball?
BJGE: Whatever my teams needs me to do to win is what I will do. There is no set number of too many carries or not enough carries. It's just about winning. I am in the bet shape of my life and have increased all my lifts in the weight room. I am ready to do whatever the team needs me to do. I'm at 222 pounds now and I am benching 435 now. My squat is very high too. I'm ready to do what my team needs for us to win. It doesn't matter about the number of carries.
Q: Do you think you flew under the radar a little last year considering you gained 1,000 yards?
BJGE: I'm not a big radar guy. All I care about is producing enough to get wins for the team. The rest comes when you produce.
Q: What about your offensive line?
BJGE: I think they have improved. What we are hoping for is that everyone has improved. I have a lot of confidence in our OL. Last year, they were supposed to be a weakness of our team, a makeshift group, but they ended up being very good and produced a 1,000-yard rusher. I tip my hat to them everytime I see them, but we don't need to keep patting each other on the back. That was last year and this is this year. We need to keep going forward and I think they are doing that.
Q: Do you take them out to eat?
BJGE: We go out every Monday. I pay sometimes, but I can't afford feeding a bunch of 350-pounders very often. They can eat, man.
Q: What are the differences in the Big 10 and the SEC, now that you have played in both?
BJGE: Week-in and week-out, the speed aspect is apparent. You can play fast teams in the Big 10, but not every week. In the SEC, everyone has speed. It's a speed league, from the DL to LBs to DBs. Everyone can run in this league.
Q: Why do you think the Mississippi schools have struggled the last three or four years?
BJGE: I don't know anything about Mississippi State, but in our case I think new coaches and rebuilding takes time to mesh. We just have to put it all together now. We were close last year, but we didn't finish. This year we intend to finish.
Q: What do you say to the perception that playing a Mississippi school is considered a win for the other team?
BJGE: I don't know about that perception. All I know is that we will decide things on the field and not in perceptions. We will battle for four quarters and I think everyone in the league knows that.
Q: How do you see the QB deal shaking out?
BJGE: Obviously everyone knows Brent (Schaeffer) is more of a runner than Seth. They both have strong arms and both can get the job done. Both have worked hard this summer. I have talked to both of them and both are in great shape, they say. I just want them both to go out a compete to the best of their ability and the best man wins. They are both my friends and I wish them both to play to their highest level. The rest will take care of itself.
Q: Do you think Brent can play another position if necessary?
BJGE: He's an excellent athlete. I have never seen him take a rep anywhere but QB. He's a QB, but I'm sure he could play somewhere else.
Q: What about the tailback position and having two quality backups in Bruce Hall and Cordera Eason?
BJGE: It's great, but we don't look at it like that. I want us all to compete like we are garbage and nobody believes in us. I want us all to be hungry and to compete all the time. If we all compete, we will all be better and we will all produce.
Q: What's the Walk Through the Grove like?
BJGE: I guess it's like walking down the aisle to get married, except you aren't nervous. (laughs)
Q: Last year you thought you ended with 999 yards. How did that feel?
BJGE: I was told near the end of the MSU game during a timeout. How anyone knows that, I don't know, but I didn't think about it too much. I didn't get the ball on the last play, but that was OK. Coach (Dan) Werner has to put the offense in a position to win and he thought calling someone else's number was best for our chances. I have no problem with that.
Q: What's it like playing for Coach O?
BJGE: He's enthusiastic and fiery. You learn from him and make progress under him. He pats you on the back and gets on you too. Either way, you learn and get better, which is what a coach is supposed to get out of you.
Q: What did you see from the Ole Miss defense in spring training?
BJGE: I'm different, I guess. It's all about competing and I want to dominate our defense in practice. I want our offense to be better than any defense we face, including ours in practice. I mean this in a good way, but I want it to be easy for our defense in games because we as an offense are so hard on them in practices.
Q: Would a winning season and bowl game mean success to you?
BJGE: Of course, but I want to enjoy the moment more and play every game one game at a time like it's my last one. I want to win every game and play that way every week. If it happens, great. If not, we know we did our best and we can figure out if that was successful or not in the end. Right now, I want to focus on camp and not the first game or the end of the season.
Q: What is the biggest difference you see in your team from last year to this year?
BJGE: Team unity and getting winning in our hearts. We all want to win and are working hard toward that end. We had that feeling last year too, but I think it's stronger this year. We were a little uncertain at times last year and I don't think we will be this year.
Q: Is there any team you want to beat more than the others?
BJGE: No. I want to beat them all. It doesn't matter who lines up across from us, I want to win. That's all there is to me.
Media Days with BJGE
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