It looks like you're in great shape and getting through the camp realy well…
"You know, I was talking to Eyoseph (Efseaff), he's my roommate, and we were talking about it last night. It feels good. I'm healthy. We had a great summer program. Doc Kreis got us in great shape. And I think it's really paying dividends now, having busted my butt over the summer. So it's paying off when it needs to."
Is this the best condition you've ever been in?
"I think so. Strength-wise, and I'm playing stronger, I feel so much more comfortable on pass protection. There are always things to clean up technique-wise and coach is always on us. But yeah, I think I'm playing strong and playing well, and I feel fresh."
Coach Dorrell said he thought you had an edge in winning the right guard position. How's the competition for that spot going?
"I always look at myself as scrapping and trying to find an edge. I always look at myself as an underdog. It's my fourth year and I really want to play. I busted my butt over summer and this is where it's paying off. You end up being in good shape and feeling good knocking heads. I still have a lot to improve. But practice is going really well right now, and I just want to focus on continuing that for the next week and a half and finishing up camp strong with no let-down. That's my focus right now."
How much different is the new system? You have the same OL coach and the same terminology, but how different is it compared to the system of the old coaching staff?
"Yeah, we kept the terminology the same for the offensive line because we kept the coach. But it's different. We're running more of a pro-style offense. It's a quicker tempo, which has taken us a while to get used to it. Toward the end of spring we got a little bit better on the tempo. But now in camp we've really picked up the tempo and got adjusted to it. And we can now see how it's really helping us, and really helped our running game. We're going to be good this year and I think we have a good offensive line if everyone stays healthy. It's going to be exciting."
Does it feel like you're all on the same page and you're gelling as a line?
"Yeah. We're always together, between practice and meetings and everything else. The same thirteen linemen are always around each other. So it's good. Yeah, there have been position changes, and a few things are tweaked here and there, but we all work together and know what we have to do. When you know what you're doing as a group, it doesn't matter who you're playing next to as long as they do the same thing."
What do you think about all of your position changes since you've been at UCLA?
"I've played every offensive line position since I've been here. I've played left side, I've played right side, I've played center. It's actually nice. It's one thing in spring, though, I told coach that I wanted to stay at one position. But because of a few things I still had to rotate and do double duty. For this camp, I can stay at right guard and focus on that. That's another thing that's helped me is that in this camp I can just sit there and concentrate on right guard and learn that technique."
How comfortable are you at right guard now, the right guard assignments and knowing how to play the position?
"I'm very comfortable with it. I feel I have a good understanding of the offense. It's complex, but it isn't. We don't have too many plays, but we have a lot of variations of those plays. That's really the difference. There are lots of ins and outs, and picking up on the little things."
How are the quarterbacks doing?
"They're doing well. I don't get to see them much since I'm in front of them. But they seem to be doing well. We had a great summer and the quarterbacks did well. We had good passing over the summer."
How do you think the offensive line has improved to be more effective this year than from last?
"I just think we had to improve our consistency. That's the biggest thing on the offensive line, doing everything consistently. No bad plays, and everyone working on the same page."
No bad plays means no missed assignments?
"No missed assignments and no blown blocks. That's why we're out here, to fine-tune those things and get it all in order."
How's the knee, and the wrist?
"I'm feeling real well. I had knee surgery, and that was my high school senior year, the fall of 1999. Then I had wrist surgery last spring when I moved to center. Everything's fine. My wrist feels really good. There are some aches and pains from camp. But you get taped up and we have a great training staff. My knee's good, besides the tendinitis. And the trainers told me to work on hamstring strength, and that will alleviate some of the tension. Other than that, I'm ready to go, healthy, and feel completely normal. The knee doesn't even cross my mind. My wrist is fine. I get re-inforced tape and it's ready to go."
How good is this team?
"I think we're going to surprise people. I'm really excited. I really like the coaches, and I really like Coach Dorrell and the staff he brought in. Doc has been a real asset. He really got this team into shape. Between all of them, they've