Quote Sheet: The Offense

To get a good basis of how the players are feeling heading into Saturday's opener, check out what Ray Graham, Lucas Nix and Chris Jacobson have to say. There's a lot of confidence in their words, and excitment for Saturday's opener.

Ray Graham

Is it finally great to have kickoff?
"It's been tough; in the beginning with the coaching changes. It's been tough with that, but we stuck it out together. We were focused. We knew what we had to do. We were determined to get better every day, and just go out there with a desire to get better. We took it as no pressure. We knew what we had to do. Whenever Coach Graham came in, he took us under the wing, and we left from there."

What's this final week of preparation like?
"(Coach Graham) has been good, he's been the same way. Coach Graham is Coach Graham. When you see him, he brings that excitement. He just lights up the room. I say this every time—he brings the coaches with excitement and it feeds off us. When we're out there, we're just ready to go. Being this is game week, we're excited. Now, we get a chance to play against another defense, and our defense gets a chance to play against another offense. We get to go after them, and I think it's going to be a good."

How much will conditioning play a role as the game goes along?
"I guess (Buffalo) knows what to prepare for (since they're a no-huddle team also). Our offense is unstoppable once we get things going. I think we have the keys and the weapons to get things right."

You out of the backfield in this offense, how much of an additional weapon can you be?
"I just want to go out there and help the team however I can. Coach put me in (situations) to go out and catch the ball. When my turn is called, I'm going to go out there and do what I have to do. "

How excited are you as a team to just go out there and let it loose?
"I'm really excited. I'm ready to see what this offense can do. We get a chance to play Buffalo this Saturday, and it's going to be a good one out there."

What's it like with you and Zach Brown, knowing you're going to have plenty of opportunities to touch the ball?
"It's always good. Every chance you get the ball, you have an opportunity to put your team in good position. Whenever I get the ball, that's what I'm trying to do."

What are your emotions like, as you get closer to kickoff?
"Right now, because I've been here for three years, but every time you step on the field there's always those jitterbugs that you get. I'm still going to be nervous. Every game is always nervous, until you get to that first kickoff return. Once it hits, you feel it, and it's football."

Is it hard having to wait until 6 pm for kickoff?
"Yeah, it's hard, but it's under the lights. Coach has been preaching to everybody about the fans, so we should have a packed house. We're going to give the fans what they came to see. I think it's going to be fun. It's going to be exciting."

Lucas Nix

Will you be eager to hit the field Saturday?
"For the main part, we just get focused and get your body ready for that night."

What do you like about where you're at this year?
"The goals we have set for ourselves; me playing guard or me playing tackles isn't going to affect those goals. It's what we put out there on the field every Saturday. If guard is what they need me to play to help this team, then that's what I'm going to do."

Do you like being inside, having a body on either side?
"It's closer quarters in there. I'm comfortable at both tackle and guard, so whatever floats the boat, I'm good with it."

You get to pull as a guard. Are you looking forward to that?
"Yeah. I like getting out in space. That's one of my things. I like to run, and hopefully I can show them with a couple pulls this next game, what I can really do."

Do you like getting after the linebackers too?
"It's nice getting away from those big guys in the middle for a little bit. It's nice to lock up on a little guy."

The depth you have on the offensive line, how much better does that make you guys, going up against them in practice?
"It's tremendous. Since I've been here, we've had depth at the d-line position. Year-in and year-out, they keep pushing us and making us better as a unit. It's always going to help, having depth there."

How good can this 2011 offensive line be?
"There's a lot. We have two rookies (Ryan Turnley, Juantez Hollins) in there who haven't had any game experience yet. The offense is going to go how we go. If we can get them up to speed as fast as we need to, experience is the biggest thing for the offensive line. It's faster than you've ever seen. If we can get those guys up to speed very quickly, then the sky is the limit for us."

Coach Graham has called you the most improved unit. How much does that help you gel as a unit?
"Seeing those young guys competing, and working hard every week, it definitely gives me the drive to go out and work harder; get them up to the level they need to be at. I love seeing us improve. I'd rather see us improve than any other position improve. Its looks good for us, and it will help the team out."

Chris Jacobson

How ready are you for Saturday?
"I am so excited, I cannot wait. We have two more days until kickoff. I remember that (clock) in the locker room, when it said, ‘120 days until Buffalo.' Now it's down to three, and then two. We are excited as a team. We're just ready to go."

Do you get butterflies?
"I always get butterflies, until that first play comes, but I'm ready to roll and I know everybody else is."

What have you seen out of Tino Sunseri, that you believe has made him a captain?
"Tino has done a great job. He's more of a vocal guy now. He's getting after it on offense. He is someone who comes to work every day; in the weight room. He gets extra film study, and you can just see that. You can just see he matured a lot through the summer. That's helped, and that's what you need out of him."

If you're looking at the daily countdown, what's it going to be like on Saturday, counting down the seconds?
"We'll bring (the clock) to the locker room, so we'll be ready to go. That will be cool."

Is it possible to get too excited for that first game?
"We'll be in that hotel too, all day, so we'll all be amped up, ready to go."

What are your thoughts on being a captain?
"It's an honor; all your teammates and peers look up to you. They respect you. That's awesome. Same with Myles (Caragein) and (Mike) Shanahan and (Antwuan) Reed all getting picked. It's a great honor. I'm thankful for that."

You and Lucas Nix have been around for awhile. Nix said you two are kind of like ‘The Godfathers' of this offense and this offensive line. Do you view that too?
"Lucas said that (laughing)? Lucas, and the same with (Jordan) Gibbs, we anchor that line. This is a big year for us. This is our last year, our last go-around, so we want to make it count. We have to do everything right every day; win championships every day. We're ready to go."

You and Lucas were pretty heavily recruited coming in. What would it be like winning a championship?
"That's a dream come true. You have to believe it every day. We do, and we talk about it every day—me, him and Gibbs. We're ready to go."

How much easier is the pace of the offense now, compared to when you first started with it?
"The spring, you were just in shock by how fast you had to be moving. We were so behind. Once we went through our summer training with Coach Gris(wold), we did a great job. We ran a lot, we got in great shape. This is the best I've ever felt. I feel great. Once we got into camp, everything was so much easier because of the shape we were in, and our timing and everything. We were more matured into it."

Buffalo also runs a hurry-up offense. Will conditioning come into play?
"The third and fourth quarter is where it's at. That's how you win the game, right there. That's where you see what team is tired. The way we get a play off every 15 seconds, you're going to see those defensive linemen tired. Our defensive line even gets tired when we get out there. That's going to be huge, and it's going to be whoever wants it more."

You started off at center, with Lucas Nix at tackle. Now, you're both guards. Has the line come together?
"As an interior part, Turnley has come a long way. Me and him worked together all summer. I know what he's doing. He's a smart player. He's getting ready for his first start, so I'm going to make sure he is ready to go, and I know he is. He's prepared very hard, and you have Gibbs and Juantez (Hollins) at the tackles. Tez is a young guy, and he has to be ready to go. I know he is. We're ready to hit some people."

Have you taken Juantez under your wing?
"Yeah, he's actually in the film room waiting for me. I'm going to head in there, and we're just going to walk it through. I know how he feels, because I was in that same boat. Jason Pinkston used to do that for me too. I know how he feels."

How does the communication work on the offensive line, between each other?
"Normally, the center comes up and makes the defensive front call. There are so many calls where Juantez and the tackles have to make; he has to be on point with that. There are some things I can't see from a distance that he sees. He has to be right on with that, and Jordan Gibbs too. That's very important. That's where we have to go into film room. He has to be on point, so that makes a difference."


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