VIDEO: Duarte on Development

Thomas Duarte talks about his development over the past year, how Mossi Johnson is developing behind him, and the connection he's been able to build with Brett Hundley...

Thomas Duarte:


On spring practice so far:
It's going real well, like I want it to. I'm getting better every day.

On his improvements:
My mental game has really stepped up. Meeting with the coaches, watching film, understanding coverages and where I need to be when I need to be there.

On his rapport with Brett Hundley:
We've been hanging out, watching film. At the end of last year, we started to pick it up and this year we wanted to work on it at the beginning of spring, get that chemistry going so when fall came around, we could pick up where we left off and go at it during the season.

On if he was happy with his contributions last year:
I am. I'm not one to complain. I'm real happy with my time and what i did in there and I got a feel for this level of competition.

On Mossi Johnson:
He's a great player. He came in right under my wing and I helped him whenever I can, and he asks me questions. I give him little tips to help him.

On the difference in fits at the Y position:
It gives us a 1-2 punch. I'm more of a bigger physical receiver, but Mossi is speed and agile. He's an athlete. That's what the defense is gonna get for trouble. I'm coming in and banging bodies with the defense and then he comes in and he runs right by them.

On his jump from last year:
I'm a whole different player. I'm bigger, faster, stronger. My knowledge of the game is better and the coaches have done a great job of sitting me down, making me watch film with them, watching coverages, ex players in the offense, and pick up what I need and put my spin on it.

On former players he's watched in the offense:
Gerrell Robinson from ASU, Joe Fauria, a bigger receiver and then just watching Darius Bell when he was healthy his junior year. Mostly just Gerrell and NFL guys, inside receivers. We watch Brandon Marshall, Larry Fitzgerald, even Hines Ward. We've started watching Eric Ebron from UNC and a guy I model my game at, he's a big receiver but puts his hand down.

On what makes them different receivers:
They just have great body control. The one thing you see in all of them is body control. The way they can get the ball is phenomenal. And they just get to the open spots. That's one thing I've harped on this spring, just getting open. The quarterback can't get you the ball if you're not open.

On how he's improved:
I've really just worked on that happy medium between speed and power. Really being a physical receiver, but not overly physical where I'm messing with the guy at the line and can't get off. You've just got to be smarter.

On his hands:
It goes back to when I was little and me and my brother used to play with my dad in the living room, and he'd throw us tennis balls and bouncy balls and we had to dive over the air mattresses and catch them. Then once we got better, he'd have tochallenge us so he'd say, run down the hall and I'm gonna throw it and you'd have to catch it with one hand. Around the house, we don't walk things to each other, we go 'here you go' and then you catch it. We always have had good hand and eye coordination. So around 4 my dad was throwing it. My dad has been training me for a while.


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