Q: Coach Steve Spurrier uses his tight ends. And Coach Stockstill loves to use them too. That's gotta make you happy?
AB: Oh definitely. It adds good balance to the offense. The tight end should play as big of a role as any other position on the field, especially among the receivers. There are plays designed for us, made for us to get open and stuff like that in this system. So this is going to be a good opportunity for us to finally make some plays.
Q: Are you schooling that true freshman (Jonathan Hannah) over there beside you to give you some help this season
AB: Hannah's doing really well. I mean he's got a lot of young talent. I mean he's come in and really taken to the offense really well. He's doing really good every day. He's always getting better at something. He's got good hands, he's got good speed, and I think he is going to be a really good player here at Carolina.
Q: Both of you are North Carolina boys ... how did we get so lucky down here to lure you out of your home state?
AB: :::: laughs :::: I don't know. Coach Stock always makes jokes to us about being from North Carolina and all, being North Carolina boys. Stock is pretty funny about that actually but I can't really say what he says. ::::: laughs out loud :::::
Q: Speaking of Coach Rick Stockstill, great guy and all that ... but he is a wide receiver coach coaching tight ends ...
AB: Oh definitely. That really helps us. You know us big guys, it gives us the opportunity to do little things coming out of a break or catching a ball a certain way - stuff like that. It really helps us out him knowing that stuff and teaching it to us. It makes us a lot better receivers. Now he is still new as a tight end coach and his blocking ... he is still learning how to teach us how to do that :::::: laughs :::::: but he is working hard every day with every one of us to get better.
Q: Are your hands feeling sticky this year?
AB: I think so. I did really well through spring catching the ball, pretty much every ball that came my way. And every day we go out there before practice and catch 10-15 balls each direction, left and right. Just working on looking it in, keeping our eyes on the ball, every day. Little things like that are giving us the confidence to make us better and more consistent.
Q: Andy, you have toned up quite a bit? Or have you beefed up? You are looking more defined these days. How tall are you, your weight, etc?
AB: Well actually I've slimmed down some. Last year I played at about 270. Right now, in camp, I weighed in at 260, about 6-5 255, 260 so I lost some weight but got a little bit more cut I'd say. Right now I am feeling better having lost that fat and added muscle. I am carrying the weight better but I am still able to maintain blocks. I'm able to get down quicker, I feel quicker. Working througout the spring I have really worked to get my conditioning right. Slimming down but bulking up muscle wise ... and I think I have made a lot of great strides in that area this year which was really really important to me.
Q: You've got the surprise nickname on the team. The one we can't quite figure out and the one O.J. Murdock probably wishes he had ...
AB: :::::: laughs :::::: Me? Yeah, Coach Stock calls me 'Juice' ... :::: laughs hard :::::
Q: We've heard some of them call you 'Peyton Manning' too.
AB: ::::: laughs ::::: Yeah, some of the guys tease me that I look like him. People tell Fran Person he looks like Bob Sagget ... now that's bad. I mean that's pretty funny.
Q: More tight end usage this year than in the past? Is that a done deal? Because we've heard it before and not seen it.
AB: Oh yes, definitely. Especially as far as the passing game is concerned but also as part of the entire offensive package. When we are in there anything can and might happen.
Andy Boyd: Tight End Talk
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