Q – You were a little more involved in practice today. How did it feel?
A – It felt good. I'm learning a lot from Trent (Dilfer) and Dennis (Northcutt) and Antonio (Bryant). They're going over some things on the field. Trent is very insightful. He's giving me a lot of help. They're putting me in (the offense) slowly, but surely. I really agree with the way everything is working. I'm learning on the go. I'm able to kind of learn as opposed to being thrown in the water. I've studied the offense a lot, but when you're going in there, you're hearing it and you have to think before you hit the line of scrimmage.
Q – Is it humbling at all for you to be in that situation (he's listed near the bottom of the dept chart at his position)?
A – It is, but I'm not that type of guy, anyway. I guess it could be for some guys who are in my situation and have been the fifth guy. I always agree with what coach says, so it doesn't matter to me.
Q – Trent says you still have a lot to learn. Do you feel that's true?
A – Definitely. I believe I'm a rookie in the NFL. Jerry Rice is in his 20th season and he says he can still learn something. Any time the greatest receiver of all time says he can learn something, I'm sure a rookie can still learn.
Q – Do you expect to play Saturday (in the Detroit exhibition) and how badly do you want to get in?
A – I know I'm going to play. I've already been told by coach that I'm going to play and when it happens, go full speed and try not to commit errors. That's why we have practices. That's why we go over it again and again and they beat it into you so that when you're put in a game, the game is supposed to be easy. Practice is supposed to be hard where you work out the kinks, make the mistakes. But come game day is when everything should flow.
Q – Is this even more special for because it's sort of a homecoming?
A – It is. I'm really excited about the chance of playing my first game in the NFL back in Detroit, my hometown, so the main thing for me is not to be overanxious. It's easy to say and it's going to be hard to do. You know, I'm going to get in there and make something spectacular happen whether it's a nice block or a nice catch or whatever it is, I'm going to want to do something so bad. So I've got to be patient, letting the game flow to me is the main thing I'm going to work on.
Q – There are going to be a lot of high draft choices in the game Saturday, especially on the other team. Does that bring more out in you when you have a situation like that?
A – I could give you a cheesy answer and say no. I could easily say no, it doesn't, but it does, especially with all those receivers. You look at Charles Rogers and Roy Williams and Mike Williams – those are three excellent college receivers I've been compared to the last three years. It may not be coming from them, but I really want to test my skills and show them I deserve to be in the ranks of their names. I'm going to do everything I can and at the end of the game, try to look good, try to look better. That's the whole objective for the game.
Q – A lot of MAC guys (he's from Ohio University) here in camp. Feeling comfortable seeing so many familiar faces?
A – Yeah. It's definitely cool like when I first got in to see a lot of guys I know and have seen around before.
Q – What has been the biggest change for you going from the MAC to here in terms of what you're able to give the club?
A – Right now, I'm doing whatever I'm asked to. It's tough coming from a place where I was a captain and a leader to where I'm starting back up again. I'm trying to make the team and contribute any way I can.
Q – What's the most important thing you have learned so far?
A – At this level, you have to have good technique. Technique is the biggest thing. You've got to have it. Otherwise, you're not going to perform well.
Q – In school, what were your strengths?
A – It's hard to say. I played a 3-4 in college just like we do here and I'm familiar with a lot of the stuff. I've got a pretty good attitude and I'm willing to work hard to try and make the team. I was a pretty good run stopper and pass rusher in college. I think what they're looking for is if you're a good player all around in every aspect of the game – pass rush, run stop.
Q – You got some good playing time Saturday night (against the New York Giants). Must have feel good hitting someone other than our own teammates.
A – It felt great hitting somebody else. Every time I was in there, I was just trying to make the best of my opportunities. That's what I'm going to keep doing day in and day out during practice and also during the game.
Q – You bring an awful lot of enthusiasm to what you do out there.
A – You've got to have enthusiasm. I do that because that's how I platy. That's how I have fun. If someone keys off me, I feel like I've done a whole lot for the team just to get things going, That's how I play. I'm aggressive. In this game, you have to be aggressive. So I just go out and have fun.
Q – This year's offense is more run-oriented than last year's. That's got to make a guy like you, a blocking fullback, feel pretty good.
A – It does. It feels good when I can go open up holes for the running back and also protect the quarterback. It's good to just keep going downhill, pounding, pounding, pounding. It feels real good.
Q – You play special teams as well. Do you feel that's the best way to make this team?
A – That's how a person, like myself not being drafted, that's the only way you can make it is on the teams. I take full advantage of being on the teams. I love being on the teams. I've been like that since college. I just try to go out and make the best of it. That's my time to shine.
Q – The fact that you weren't drafted, does that give you that much extra incentive?
A – It does. I just thank God that I'm here now. I've been cut sometimes. But some men never give up. You can't ever give up on your dreams and that's what I'm doing. I'm never giving up and hopefully, this year will be the year.
Q – When you have a couple of picks like you did today, what does that do for your mind-set?
A – We come out here every day and practice hard. We just try to put ourselves in the right position to make plays and today, we just happened to be in the right spot. Every interception gives you a little more confidence. We just come out here and work hard.
Q – The previous regime perceived you as a guy who could play slot/corner at any time or safety/ Is this regime looking at you in a different way or do they see you as a versatile guy?
A – I'm really not sure yet. I've most played just the safety spots since the new coaching staff arrived. I'm still kind of feeling them out also. I really don't know. I just go out there and do everything they ask me to do. If it comes up and they want me to go to corner or play the nickel back, I don't mind doing it. I think I have the ability to do it.
Q – Looking from the secondary, is it any different looking at a 3-4 setup as opposed to a 4-3?
A – When you're in the back end as a DB. You see a lot more linebackers. The run defense is a little different. As far as the passing game goes and the coverages, coverages are universal. You play all the same type of coverages and every type of defense.
Q – What do you key off of?
A – You have to take your reads and you have to look at the offensive line. We call it a triangle when we look to the end of the line through the running back, through the quarterback to the opposite end of the line. You take your run keys and go from there. But we're pass first and run secondary. We try to let the front seven take care of that. And if needed, we come up and make a tackle.
Q – A lot of spirited competition back there (in the secondary) this year.
A – Yeah, it is and that's better for everyone because I'm going to hopefully play better than their best and they're going to hopefully play than my best. All you can is go out there and compete and play your butts off and good things will hopefully happen.
Q – And how do you think it's been going so far this summer?
A – I think I've had the best camp since I've come to Cleveland. I've matured more as a player. I'm seeing things a little better reacting. I feel like I've had a good camp so far, but it's a long preseason. I'm trying to stay on an even keel. We still have three more (exhibition) games, so we just try to build each week.