SDBoltReport.com: You just got back from Hawaii, tell us a little bit about the experience.
Shane Olivea: It was fun. We got to hang out, me and the O-line. We got to hang out together, did some sight-seeing and just got away from football a little bit.
SDBoltReport.com: Drew Brees and LaDainian Tomlinson took the offensive line out there as a show of respect for the work you do. What does it mean to you that they showed their appreciation for your effort and did you guys get a chance to hang out?
Shane Olivea: It showed that we were appreciated. Linemen don't make running back or quarterback money so any free trip, we are not going to pass up. It was a nice gesture on their part. We got together a couple nights out there with Drew and LT and Gates and had a good time.
SDBoltReport.com: Talk about your preparation during the offseason and working with a new offensive line coach.
Shane Olivea: A little bit of everything. We had a line coach change. Our former coach, Hudson Houck, went to the Dolphins and now we have Carl Mauck. I had a chance to meet with him just recently. Learning him and him learning us will be a whole new experience.
I built a solid relationship with Coach Hud and it is sad to see him go but that is life in the NFL. You move on.
My preparation is going to be the same. Work hard and do what I have do to maintain my spot, working on technique and working out, lifting and running. Getting my mind into the best possible shape coming into camp. Another thing is staying injury-free. I was the only lineman to take every snap this year. That is something I am very proud of. I want to be known as someone who is durable and can play through pain and injury. The whole mindset of proving it again. People are like, ‘that was just one year' so I am going to go out and prove people wrong by getting my mind and my body at the right stage, the right frame of mind come late July.
SDBoltReport.com: You mentioned the addition of Carl Mauck. How important is that relationship and what do you have to do to find the chemistry you had with Hudson Houck?
Shane Olivea: It is going to be an ongoing processs. Just like I had to learn a new system and learn playing next to a new guy, I am going to have to learn what a new coach wants. Not every coach is the same. The coach will take some things from the players and the players will take some things from the coach. You just hope it blends together like it did this past year and meshes well.
We are already a cohesive unit and it showed. I think we were third in the league in least amount of sacks and LT had a great year and Drew had a great year. We feel like we really have something special going. We want to keep the ball rolling. It is not often that you can bring everybody back and we have the opportunity to bring everybody back for the most part. We feel like we have something going really well and we just want to keep it going.
SDBoltReport.com: At the end of year, head coach Marty Schottenheimer has an individual meeting with every player on the team. Talk about what was said during that meeting and did he leave you any parting advice heading into the offseason?
Shane Olivea: It went really well. Him and Coach Hud – it was really positive. He had a lot of good praises and was very high on me. He said, ‘basically what you did doesn't happen in this business.'
He was very high on me and told me to keep a level head in the offseason and come in and keep working and keep the same mindset coming into next season and ‘you will be doing this for a long time at a high level.'
It was really positive. I couldn't ask to come into a better situation, playing for a great line coach, a great organization and a great head coach. This was one of the best years I have ever had playing football and one of the most fun and exciting years I have had.
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