Scout NFL Q&A: Josh Gattis

Jaguars' rookie safety Josh Gattis talked to's Ed Thompson about his new role in Jacksonville, his unexpected opportunity following the release of Donovin Darius, fellow rookie safety Reggie Nelson and more!

Ed Thompson:  Are you getting a feel for what the Jaguars' plans are for you? And what are they telling you that they like about how you play the game of football?

Josh Gattis:  They like what I bring to the table as a safety -- that I can fill in the box for run support but can also play well in the passing game.  They've moved me to strong safety where they believe I project better as a playmaker in this defense and to allow them to have both me and Reggie Nelson on the field together. They like what both of our abilities bring to their future for the secondary.

ET:  Some folks seem to be assuming that Gerald Sensibaugh is going to get one of the two starting spots automatically, but I don't think you or Reggie Nelson are ready to just concede a starting spot to Gerald, are you?

JG:  No, there's going to be a lot of competition. Gerald's a great player who has proven that he can play in this defense. But none of us are going to settle for second. It's going to be a highly heated battle during training camp, but the good thing about that is it's going to make all of us better.

ET:  As a rookie, how did you react to the news of Donovin Darius' release? You lost a potential mentor, but it also opened up a world of opportunity for you.

JG:  It was pretty surprising, but it was a good reminder to the rookies that something like that is solely a business decision by the Jaguars organization. You hate to see a guy like that go, a guy who has so much time in the league and who helped me out through this whole process. Donovin was actually one of the first guys I talked to on this team. And whenever I had a question, he was the first guy I went to. He's already proven that he's a great safety in this league, but at the same time, the coaching staff made the decision that they like what they see in their young guys  -- which now puts a lot more responsibility on us. We have Rashean Mathis out there who can take over and be our leader out there in the secondary, but we've really got to take it upon ourselves to try to fill those shoes.

ET:  You did a good job of getting your deal done early. Did the team just come in with the right numbers or did you put a high priority on getting the deal done as quickly as possible?

JG:  They came in with the right number, but at the same time it wasn't a big issue. Being drafted where I was, you don't see guys holding out, so you're going to get your contract done and you're going to get it done right. I feel the contract fit me and what they want out of me.

ET: What's your relationship been like so far with Reggie Nelson?

JG:  We've gotten really close, we've studied our playbooks together. We're just building that chemistry that any other rookie tandem would build entering an organization together.

ET:  Has it hit you yet that if you and Reggie Nelson are able to win the starter's roles in camp this year, that rookie tandem will be facing guys like the Colts' Peyton Manning this year?

JG:  Oh, that's going to take a lot of poise by us because you're battling great quarterbacks in this division. You're going to see Matt Schaub, Vince Young and Peyton Manning twice this year.  But at the same time, that's what you play the game for, you play for that competition. And just knowing that you've got guys right there like Rashean Mathis and a great coaching staff who's going to prepare you well is going to be exciting.   

ET:  What would you like to say to the Jacksonville fans?

JG:  Thanks for the support that they've shown already. Get excited about the upcoming season because I'm feeling like I can bring a lot to the table for this team and the organization. I'm really excited to be here and I'm looking forward to a great year.

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