Throughout the Browns' training camp in Berea, Bernie'sInsiders will focus on players' thoughts as they get ready for the 2005 National Football League season. Today, we talk with offensive tackle Greg Randall, running back Lee Suggs, rookie safety James King, rookie linebacker Omar Nazel and cornerback Antwan Harris.
Q – The Browns need depth on the offensive line and you figure to give them that. In what way do you use this as incentive to impress the coaching staff?
A – You always want to try to get out there and do your best to try to impress the coaches. I try to go out there and work hard and make every practice count.
Q – In what specific area do you believe you can help the team the most?
A – Know what I need to do, know how to do it and just try to get it done.
Q – Have you played inside (at guard) at all?
A – No, but I wouldn't mind. I wouldn't mind trying anything different.
Q – Is there a mind-set to knowing you might go into the season having to watch from the bench?
A – It's always that mind-set, but at the same time, you've got to be a professional and try to prepare for it. Make the best of the situation and when you get the opportunity, be ready.
Q – Satisfied with the way camp has been going?
A – It's going OK, but it can always be better.
Q – You really didn't get much of a chance to show what you can do in Saturday's exhibition against the Giants. Looking forward to a little more action this week against Detroit?
A – I'm looking forward to being out there. Got about two series last time. Once I got ready to go, I was out of the game. This week, I'm getting ready for more playing time and get more into the flow of things and get things going.
Q – What are the coaches telling you? How much more are you going to play this week?
A – Haven't even talked about it yet. I guess we'll talk about it probably Friday night before the game. However much I'm given, I'll be happy with it.
Q – In the past, you've had injury problems, usually early on. You seem to be holding your own this time. Is this something you're paying close attention to?
A – Knock on wood, I seem to be doing OK so far. I hope that'll continue. Injuries are part of the game. They happen. You can't control them. Only thing you can do is go out and play hard every game.
Q – Are you doing anything in particular to avoid these injuries?
A – The only thing I'm doing to avoid injuries is working out hard in the offseason and coming out and trying to be in the best shape I can be when I come out to practice. I feel I've done that in the offseason and hopefully, the injuries will stay away.
A – It's a real tight battle and we're using each other as incentive. Both of those guys are real good backs and I feel honored to be in the competition with them. We all go out there and try to make plays and it only makes us better. We all feed off each other and know it's best for the team.
Q – How has it been going for you so far? How are you feeling from a comfort standpoint??
A – I'm starting to get a lot more comfortable with the system that we're running here. It was kind of rough at first, but I'm starting to get a little smooth around the edges.
Q – What is coming easier to you?
A – Pretty much the pace of the defense when everything is jelling together. I pretty much have a good overall idea of how the scheme and everything works. Being a rookie, sometimes I get a little timid and don't make plays I should, but it's coming along.
Q – They're playing you most at safety here. Did you play safety at Central Michigan?
A – Yeah, safety and linebacker.
Q – What's the biggest adjustment you've had to make so far?
A – Probably not getting as much reps as I'd like. I think I was doing a lot better in camps when I was getting more reps and when my reps were limited, some mistakes came along.
Q – You played in the fourth quarter against the Giants Saturday night. How did you feel out there?
A – Actually, it's the first time I've ever been to a professional football game. So it was a little overwhelming, but I pretty much got the gist of it.
Q – Must have been a treat for you.
A – Yeah, it was. It was definitely a blessing from God. When I first came out, I was thanking God I was out there. It's been my dream to play my first professional game.
Q – Did you think along the lines of "I belong here"?
A – At the beginning of the game, I was kind of questioning myself. But after we got into game, I knew I belonged at this level.
Q – You played some Saturday night.
A – Yeah, that was real cool. I enjoyed them letting me get a chance to run around on the field.
Q – You've been getting your share of work in practice.
A – It's mostly important you need to stay in focus on the plays and the adjustments and things like that. The coaches have been doing a good job of letting me get up in there and run around and try to get my feel for the linebacker position.
Q – You've got the size (6-5, 250) the coach likes in his linebackers. Has he said anything to you about that?
A – Not in particular, but he said something about bringing me into the camp and allowing me to come practice with the team. That's a big statement right there. I'm appreciative of the fact that I'm here and able to display my talents.
Q – Is linebacker a new position for you?
A – I played it in high school. It's new in the sense that I haven't played it at this level with these types of players. For the most part, I've got to get back to my old-school ways. I'll get the hang of it.
Q – Starting to come?
A – Definitely, definitely. If it wasn't, I'd probably be gone by now.
Q – Coming out of big program like USC, is the transition that much easier to step into an NFL camp?
A – It's real competitive at that college. They bring in a lot of top recruits every year. You get used to the fact that nobody's position is solidified until their first game or until you really put it down on the season. I guess it's equivalent to an NFL camp where you always have up-and-coming stars and everybody is challenged by another player. It's a pretty good transition.
Q – You were a bit of a late comer to camp. Have you caught up yet or are you still feeling your way along?
A – I know what's going on. I know pretty much the defense. I learn a little bit more every day. But I know the basics and I know how to play it.
Q – Having played under coach Crennel. (in New England), is there a similarity to this defense and the one you saw in New England?
A – It's real similar. It's just a few things that, you know, Todd (defensive coordinator Todd Grantham) being from Houston he brought some of his things. There's some of his stuff and Romeo's stuff. It's not that hard. It's just how Todd wants to play his stuff and how we did it at New England.
Q – Being familiar with it, is it something you might be able to teach teammates who have never played the 3-4 and are having trouble with it?
A – No, I don't find myself in a teaching role. I'm trying to win a job, too. If I was on the team and made the team, then maybe I'll come to teaching. I don't mind helping guys if they ask me to help them. I have to make the team myself.
Q – There's a lot of competition back there. Does that put more or less pressure on you? Do you respond more to something like that?
A – You have to respond when you get in the game. That's all I can tell you.