EXCLUSIVE: Q&A with Ostroski

I talked to right guard Jerry Ostroski today. Ostroski sat out the session, but was there observing. Throughout these camps, Ostroski has been very involved in tutoring young players such as Marques Sullivan and Mike Williams, suggesting ways they can improve or do things easier. Here's a full transcript of what we talked about in our exclusive three minute, 55 second conversation:

 

Mike Doser: Jerry, you came back last year after suffering a broken leg in the preseason and gutted it out the last seven games. Now your leg is more healed, how does it feel and what is your prognosis for the season?

Jerry Ostroski: The leg is alright. It's doing OK. We'll definitely be ready for training camp. We might have to do a few things to help it out, but all in all, it's going to be OK. I'll be ready for the season.

MD: You're the most veteran player on the line without John Fina here. When you came in here in 1993, you were a young player. Now you're one of the guys that the inexperienced guys look up to. What has that been like?

JO: I've always been a guy to help out as much as I could. But now it's even more important because we lost John. So it's even more important to be a vocal person. I'm trying to help these young guys along. We've got so many young people that it's important that we get them to the same level.

MD: It's always said that a great offensive line has to play together a long time. Do we sometimes overemphasize the amount of time a line has to play together to be effective?

JO: Sometimes. But it's not always overemphasized. A line definitely has to get together and they need to learn how each other acts. I've played with these guys that we have for a while, so I know what they're gonna do or how they're gonna be. But you still need to get together as a group and you need to get some playing time together so you know what everyone on the line is gonna do.

MD: Can you give me an idea, some specifics, of what kinds of things need to develop between, say, you and Mike Williams?

JO: It almost gets to the point where you don't even make calls. The center has to make his call, but after that it's pretty much understood what's gonna happen. It's kind of like an ESP-type feeling. You know what the other person is gonna do before he does it. That only happens when you play together for a while.

MD: How long does it take to get to that point?

JO: If you can get through a preseason all together then that's a good amount of time. Certainly, there are a lot of groups that have been together for a while. But I've played with all these guys we've got, except for Mike Williams, and we're bringing him along. By the end of preseason, things should be good.

MD: You've been versatile here, playing right guard, right tackle, center, and right guard again. Do you prefer guard the best?

JO: I think now with my career moving on, you know, I only have so many years left, I think right guard probably the best spot for me, but if I need to be somewhere else, then I'll do it.

MD: Why do you think right guard's the best spot?

JO: You're in between two guys and pass blocking is a little easier. You still have to pull and stuff, but you're just inside. It's a little bit more closed quarters than playing on the edge, or playing center, where you have to move around …

Out of all the mini-camp practices the Bills have had this off-season, Friday's session occurred amid the best weather. It was sunny and warm, with a slight breeze. I'd even say that it was the day of the year in Buffalo, though some might argue that Drew Bledsoe's arrival was far better. I'd disagree. From a pure nature standpoint, this was the day of the year …

Other notes from practice: Chris Watson was excused from today's session for an undisclosed reason. Others not practicing were Jay Riemersma (hamstring), Larry Centers (charity event), Coy Wire (flu), Peerless Price (rest), and rookie Jamarei Bryant (shoulder; arm in a sling).

Overall, it was a pretty nondescript practice. Cornerback Daryon Brutley nearly intercepted an Alex Van Pelt pass during the two-minute drill. Brutley dove, showing good recovery speed after the receiver made his initial cut, but could only knock the pass away.


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