TE Rhett Ellison
June 2, 2017
Q: How are you feeling?
A: Good. I am getting better.
Q: What has held you out?
A: Just a sore calf. Right now we are just being smart with it. We have been running on it and we are just being real smart this time of the year.
Q: Is that something that happened in OTAs?
A: A little before hand, so we are just being smart with it.
Q: How much has that set you back as far as learning the system?
A: You really have to embrace the mental reps. You really have to just visualize it and put yourself in that situation as much as you can without actually being in the situation. It also helps with younger guys in the room, so everyone is kind of learning it right now. You just have to embrace the mental (aspect).
Q: Is the calf related to the foot injury at all?
Q: I know it is early, but do you have a better idea of what your role is going to be?
A: Yeah, like you said, it is really early right now, so it is just kind of wherever. First I have to get on the field and then it is wherever they want to put me.
Q: How do you feel about the tight end room?
A: It is a really unique room, great dudes. A lot of different skills and a lot of different strengths. It is definitely a fun room to be a part of.
Q: What is your early impression of Evan [Engram]?
A: He works hard on and off the field, so just a ton of upside to him. He looks great out there.
Q: You guys are listed as the same position, but you are probably sort of different types of players. Do you see that at all?
A: Yeah, rarely do two tight ends on one team do the exact same thing, so that is just the position. A tight end is kind of a hybrid of a bunch of things. It is just kind of situational on what we would do.
Q: You didnít play a ton of fullback last season, right? It was more early on in your career.
A: Yeah, early in my career, college, so yeah not a ton last year.
Q: How comfortable are you if they want to use you there?
A: Yeah, I am very comfortable at fullback. That is all part of the position.
Q: They moved you around a lot last year. Was there any one particular area where you felt at home?
A: It just depended on the play. But I always wanted to be that guy that they could put me anywhere and move me around and just for defensive recognition and just any advantage that we could give the offense, so there wasnít really any spot that was really comfortable, it was all just kind of part of what we did.
Q: When you block for a guy like Adrian Peterson, do you learn stuff about blocking that you wouldnít learn if you were blocking for any other running back?
A: Yeah, his style of running is very different. If anything, you have to account for more guys in the box because when Adrian is in the backfield, defenses are going to load up, so it changes the blocking schemes a bit. That is really it.
Q: How does Eli compare to what you thought coming in?
A: Eli is awesome. He is a two-time Super Bowl MVP for a reason. But yeah, he is very helpful, he is constantly learning, so it just pushes you to keep learning and getting better because he is doing the same things and this is I donít know how many years for him, but he is always getting better.
Q: Obviously it is early, but can you already start seeing where these pieces are going to fit in the offense?
A: It is really hard this time of year. Even if it is later in the offseason, because you canít really tell until you have pads on and you canít really tell until you actually have a game and see what works and what doesnít work, so it is a little too early to tell right now.
Q: Do you think you will be able to get back on the field before the summer break?
A: I hope so. I definitely hope so. But Ronnie [Barnes] and his staff are doing a great job and we are just being smart right now.
Q: McAdoo talks a lot about his blockers being nasty. You canít just tell yourself to be nasty, right? What does it take? How do you cultivate that?
A: It just has to be a mindset that you want to finish to the whistle and as a collective unit, which is how you have to be. You canít have one guy taking a play off. Everybody has to be on the same page. It really just starts with a mindset. It doesnít mean that you need to play dirty or anything, I just think that it is more of an effort-based thing. You just have to play longer than they did.
Q: How much can you help the tackles?
A: It just depends on what the protection is, really. You can have protections where we are double-teaming their guy or protections that look like fakes, play actions and stuff, so it just really depends on what protection is called.
Q: You are working with a lot of young running backs. Do you ever get with the running backs and break down film?
A: Yeah, right now I am just trying to get the base and the foundation of the offense down. But that is definitely something that happens as you get into the season and you kind of figure out your bread and butter and every runner is different and every runner sees things a little different. But it is all trust with the blocking and the running. If the runner can trust our blocks, then it makes things easy for everybody, so that is just something that you learn over time, playing in games.