Q: What's going on out there? You look a lot more ...
Q: Exactly. Relaxed.
A: Well, that's just knowing what's going on; I mean, just in the play calls. We had plays like ‘989' at Texas. That was a post. Now they come in with ‘waggle 6 Z post.' The terminology wasn't registering quickly. But now I can hear those words and process them as quickly as I did in college. Also, I know the guys, the guys know me. It's a different vibe for me. I tell the young guys that if they have any questions, don't ask the older guys, ask the guys who just went through it. I probably know everything about the way they're feeling, the way their heads are spinning.
Q: Do you have a sense of how much better you'll be in September?
A: I definitely feel like there will be positive momentum going into this season. There's going to be a change in the way I play – in everything. I have a whole new approach to the game.
Q: Mike Wallace looked nervous and unsure of himself out there today, like you were last year. Could you empathize?
A: Yeah. At certain times I catch myself having flashbacks of those first few days. You're supposed to break quick, but instead you look around and try to read the defense. I always tell him what Hines (Ward) and Santonio (Holmes) told me: Relax. I know it's hard to do, and it is hard to do. My first time in walk-throughs, I went a hundred miles per hour. Santonio had to grab me and set me straight. He said, ‘It's walk-throughs. You'll be burned out by the end of practice.' I was just so excited about chasing that dream, being around Hines Ward the Super Bowl MVP, Ben Roethlisberger, Willie Parker, Troy (Polamalu). But at the same time you've got to take it in stride, relax, get in your comfort zone. I think that's one of the hardest thing for young guys, to get in that zone, because everybody can play. That's why you were drafted. It's not a question of whether you can do it, it's about zoning out and totally focusing in on what you need to do. There's so much stuff going on and so many people you've got to deal with, it's not as easy as it should be.
Q: Have you done a lot more work in this building so far this year?
A: We didn't really have a chance to do a lot last year because we came in like these guys, and then it's harder during the season. But during this offseason, yeah, I just hung out. That's when you really put your work in. That's when you really have time to make those improvements, make those strides. That was all I was focusing on.
Q: What was the main thing you did to get better?
A: Everything. Film watching, talking to coaches, the veterans, little things like breaking down the Steelers' coverages with all those crazy blitzes that they have. I spent a lot time breaking down film and working on my routes.
Q: Did you work on your relationship with the QB?
A: Things work out. Things always work out right on time. If you worry about stuff like that, you end up messing up. I just want to go out and catch the ball and whatever happens after that happens.