What’s changed since Mike Pouncey went down?
“Nothing’s really changed. We are missing Mike right now. As coach said, it’s the next guy up and I’m the next guy up. I’m just trying to do my job. Same plays. I mean, the next level. One’s from two’s and going with different guys, but same exact plays. ”
How much work did you have with the 1st team prior to Pouncey’s injury?
“Probably just a couple reps. Mike would sometimes get 2 to 3 reps off and I’d go in then. But probably just a couple.”
Have you ever played center?
“I’ve always played guard. But when I came here, they told me that I look more like a natural center. And they started working me at center slowly, progressed me into it, and now I’m pretty much full time center. But I’ll still get a couple plays at guard.”
What was your initial reaction to the Miami Dolphins wanting you to play center?
“I kind of thought they were joking at first. They asked me if I could play center and I was like ‘well… I don’t know.’ And then when they started giving me reps, I thought it was more of just seeing what else I could do. I didn’t actually think I would be playing center. But it’s a good thing.”
Are you comfortable with Up-tempo offense?
“Yeah. We did a little bit of that in college. So it’s just a matter of trying to do it a little bit faster in the pro’s.”
What’s it like learning the new position?
“It’s been difficult at times. Mainly at guard you are the guy sitting there looking at the center waiting for the calls. And now, you’re the guy who has to get up there and make the calls yourself. So it’s a little bit more pressure.”
What kind of pressure?
“Knowing that if you mess up your call, you’re messing up everything for everybody else. It’s just that pressure on you as a center. I got to get used to it really.”
What is the biggest piece of advice the coaches gave you?
“Just to be calm. Yesterday they told me ‘you have all the time in the world to make the calls’ and not to be nervous about it.”
Any extra time you have to put in learning the Center Position?
“More studying. More mental aspect to it. Staying here longer, watching more film, trying to get prepared for the game. ”
On seeing Pouncey go down:
“I didn’t think anything about it. I saw Mike go down at first, and I immediately grabbed my helmet. I was already almost out in the field, and I turned around and looked at coach and I went like ‘hey you want me to go?’ and he just said ‘yeah. Go.’”
How long did it take to get comfortable at center?
“Pretty much all of OTA’s. The first week or two that had me playing at both guards. And after the 2nd week they started throwing me out at center for 1 period and then 2 periods… But now, I feel fine.”
What kind of player are the Dolphins getting?
“I’m a hardworking player. I play with a lot of heart. For me, winning the play and winning the game is more important than anything. ”