Interview: Marcedes Lewis

The juniot tight end, <b>Marcedes Lewis</b>, is extremely happy with his new coaches, and is taking considerable pride in his improved blocking. He also likes to catch the ball too...

Junior tight end Marcedes Lewis has eight catches for 106 yards and a touchdown so far this season. He also has been doing an exceptional job of blocking, which many thought was his weakness in the past.

What are some of your main goals during a bye week?

"Get some rest, but at the same time, get sharp. Focus on the things that I might have had trouble with in weeks one through three. Get sharp and then get ready for the next game."

What would be the things that you've have trouble with?

"So far I've been doing a very good job of blocking. But you can always work on things. For me, it's my hat placement. Sometimes I tend to step under myself instead of stepping out. So those are the the things I'm really focusing on right now. It's outside zone stretch plays, I'm trying to get my hat placement on the outside shoulder, and not stepping under myself and pivoting, rather than stepping. That's what I'm really focusing on right now."

Are you happy with your blocking so far?

"Yeah, I'm very happy with my blocking. I worked so hard at it, to get better and try to be complete. I think it's all starting to come together for me. I've learned, too, that my blocking makes it easy for me to get open and catch passes. Sometimes when I go out like I'm going block and then release, it gets me open. The defense flies to where they think the runners going to be, and in actuality I'm just running to get open."

Has it been satisfying for you, your blocking contributing to how successful the running game has been?

"For me, that's almost like a catch to me. Blocking has become one thing I've really been focusing on. Coaches wanted me to be a better blocker for this offense. And for this offense I think to reach its potential I'm going to have to be a better blocker. That's one thing I definitely take pride in now. It's all coming together."

You have to like this offense compared to a year ago...

"Oh, yeah. With this offense, there's almost always someone open all the time. You can't guard just one person. You can't double-team a person, because you have backs coming out of the backfield for the check routes, tight ends in the seams, and the receivers on the outside. It gives a lot of people the opportunity to catch the ball. I think the West Coast Offense is good if you have players that can do something with it afterwards, like we do."

What kind of difference have you seen in the offensive line?

"I'm not over there working with them all the time. But as far as in the game, one big things is there is no bickering and pointing fingers. Everybody is manning up. Everybody is together and a family in that huddle. If one person messes up, it's on everybody. We take it like that. We take pride in not getting the quarterback touched and opening holes for the running backs to do something."

They've run the ball quite a bit. Why wouldn't you if you're gaining 400 yards on the ground in a game? So, are you keeping the passing game a bit under wraps?

"Oh, yeah. We can't show too much. It's still early. We have a few things coming out. But as long as we're running the ball like that, I don't think anyone can complain. Everybody is contributing to the running game. Receivers are blasting people downfield. Tight ends, linemen, everybody's blocking. As long as we get the kind of results like we got Saturday, nobody is complaining. We're just trying to win."

In a Cover 2, when you get that play call where you can find that soft part of the secondary, do you get pretty excited about it?

"Oh, yeah. I can't wait for those. I always stay ready. When it's my time, I'll try to make sure I catch the ball and do something after the catch. And then hopefully that will make them come back to me. So, yeah, I love that call. But in between, I want to focus on blocking and getting results there."

What kind of difference has coach Jon Embree made for you this season as the new tight ends coach?

"Man, he's almost like my father out there. He gets on me a lot. But I know it's for the best. I can go talk to him. He makes playing football so easy for me now. He makes me want to go out there and actually just pancake a guy, or finish a run. It's great. I can't really explain it. I'm happy, though."

How about offensive coordinator Tom Cable?

"I love coach Cable. He makes you believe. It doesn't matter what, in what situation, he makes you believe. Why else would we run the ball on third and twelve and get 20 yards? He just makes you want to go out there and do things. That's the biggest difference."

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