C Jim Cordle
August 22, 2013
Q: Someone said earlier that the 3rd and 4th preseason games are going to be the biggest games for you. Can you talk a little more about that?
A: Even if I wasn’t with the first team, they’d still be the biggest games. Each week you’ve got to get better. That’s how you’re evaluated in the preseason games. I’m still working on it. I’m just playing for a roster spot. I happen to be out there with the first group, so I’ll play as hard as I can.
Q: Does it take time to develop chemistry with the QB as a center?
A: Yeah, a little bit. With the under snaps you’ve got hand-placement and where he has his hands, what’s his motion of accepting the snap. But you pick it up pretty quick and…he just wants consistency, which I give to him. Last year...Baas was out for OTAs so I was taking a lot of the reps with the ones.
Q: Could you talk about going against the Jets Saturday, and with there being so many moving parts on the offensive line and the Jets showing so many different looks, is that kind of the ultimate test for you guys?
A: Yeah, it’s exciting. Jets week during preseason is always exciting. We’re here so long and there’s so much redundancy, but when we’re playing the Jets they’ve got so many different looks that you’re thinking all day and you’re getting ready for that. We’re excited to be challenged by that, by all the different looks. I think we’ve got a great system on offense. If we listen to the QB, make our calls, and then react to what we see, I think we’ll be fine.
Q: More so, with all of the changes along the line, is this really a good test? Because you guys are going to have to communicate and things like that.
A: Yes. And the good thing is that Chris (Snee) and Kevin (Baas) do such a good job communicating. Hopefully I can help out and not be a drop-off from Baas. They have such a routine down of when they’re switching twists or when they’re getting the guard over on the linebacker, things like that. But we use the same vocabulary so hopefully they understand it.
Q: Justin’ Pugh is going to kind of lean on Chris a little bit out there. Are you kind of leaning on Kevin a little more?
A: Yeah, definitely. Those guys are great players and I’d love to make calls. But like I said the other day, they’re making them before I do. We work together and we adjust. They’re great guys, great players, and they help me a lot.
Q: I suppose this offensive line has worked together since about April. You guys have had two days of practice, literally, and then you have to go face the Jets. How’s the chemistry been? Have you guys been able to improve anything between yesterday and today?
A: Yeah. They know what they’re doing. I know what I’m doing, too. But to do it together, we’ve had OTAs, so I think we’ve had some time. In practice you get to look, but the test will be Saturday when they’re flying fast and they’re coming hard. We look good in practice. We’ll be challenged, but I think all the work that we’ve done will pay off.
Q: How much does it help your confidence, being that you did it on Sunday?
A: I think that helps. I got some positive comments from Coach, which was good to hear. And I believe in myself, so I’m excited for the opportunity. Even if I haven’t played well, I expect to play well in this game. So yes, I think it does help.
Q: Have you allowed yourself to think about the possibility of the chance that you could be the starting center on opening night?
A: I’ve probably thought about it. I don’t know how it’s going to work out, but it’s in the back of my mind. I’m playing for a roster spot this game, just to stay around here. We’ll see, when opening night comes up, what the lineup is.
Q: Playing center at Ohio State, does that help you in this level having had that experience?
A: Yeah, I came in and got to learn from the best; Nick Mangold, the Jets center. He took me in and taught me a lot that definitely helped me out. He was a three-year starter at Ohio State. And I’ve played against some really good guys in college, Ricky James from the Colts. Coming up with the first team, I feel like I know I can do it.