Q&A With: Donovan Arp

Donovan Arp has spent the first part of camp working with the first unit. But even he knows that might be temporary. That doesn't mean he's disappointed. Actually, the second-year tackle loves where he's at. Considering he was undrafted as a rookie and later cut, he should like his spot. Arp is filling in for Santana Dotson.

Q: What are your strengths at tackle?

A: My initial quickness and my intelligence are my two big strongpoints. I'm not one of hte bigger guys or one of the fastest in the 40, but I watch the ball well and I get off well. I understand our plays and hope I understand the offensive plays.

Q: How big of an opportunity is this for you?

A: This is huge. I came out as an undrafted free agent and to go from there to where I am now . . . this is a giant opportunity so I need to perform at my best and I need to do things they ask of me. I take this real serious.

Q: Do you feel your fighting for a starting job?

A: I realize when Santana is healthy and Big Daddy is healthy that they're going to be the starters. I'm fighting to be the third man. If one of them needs to come out for a break. I'm fighting for them to think of me first rather than anyone else.

Q: What was it like to be undrafted and then get cut?

A: The first thing that crossed my mind when I got cut was, 'I'm not good enough to be in the NFL. They don't want me. If they don't want me, who will want me?' But Tennessee brought me back. That told me I needed to work on some things and that's why I'm here.

Q: How much did hurting your Achilles' before your senior year set you back for the draft?

A: I don't know whether I would have been drafted. That's hard to say. But if I was going to be drafted, that definitely hurt me. I came back from the Achilles' fine, but it caused a few other problems like overusing the right side of my body. I strained some things and it caused me to play bad in some games. It definitely set me back. But I'm at full speed now.

Q: Why have you stuck it out?

A: I can look at myself and say, 'I'm good enough to do it.' Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. But I'm good enough and know my work ethic is good enough that I'll eventually get there. If I stick with it long enough.

Q: Did you get that attitude from your parents?

A: My dad as big on if you do something, then do it. Don't quit. As a sophomore in high school I wrestled. I hated it. But I signed up for it--I wasn't very good, but I went to practice and made it through the season.

Q: What did you consider doing after you were cut?

A: There was a Graduate Assistant's job that I was thinking about. I had a few backup plans. I didn't want to leave myself high and dry.


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