TE Rhett Ellison
August 1, 2017
Q: You missed a lot of time in the spring, how does it feel to be back these last couple of days?
A: It feels good. Itís definitely great being back out there. Spring was a lot of mental reps, but you canít really get the rep until you physically do it, so itís good to be back out there.
Q: Did the calf linger into the offseason or were you pretty much healthy?
A: Healthy. I got to train back up, get back in shape in time for camp.
Q: How comfortable are you blocking out of the backfield like a fullback?
A: Pretty comfortable. A lot of what I did my last couple years in college was that. Actually, my senior year in college I was strictly a fullback. Rookie year (I) did a lot of that as well. So, thatís just kind of part of the tight end position. You have to know both, in line and in the backfield.
Q: What challenges do you face in the backfield?
A: Itís a different technique, blocking, different reads. You have to see how the shells fall in. In line, itís a smaller triangle. At fullback, you need to see when safeties are coming down, cornerís outside, itís all going to change the flow. So, you have to be able to know if youíre read is inside out or outside in. Itís just a little different. Mostly the technique is different.
Q: Which gives you more wear and tear on your body?
A: Probably the backfield. Fullbacks, itís more space for a bigger collision.
Q: Do you think your versatility provides value to you?
A: Yeah, I mean Iíve always wanted to be as versatile as possible or just be available wherever they wanted to put me. And again, thatís kind of just the tight end position. Tight endís always a hybrid Ė whoeverís in there, you should be able to know every position on the field and they can kind of move you around. So, it definitely helps being versatile.
Q: How does the tight end position in this offense compare to the offenses youíve been in in the past?
A: Itís similar and different. Iíd say the tempo is the biggest difference. The no huddle type stuff and just the pace of everything. The tight end position is the tight end position, thereís nothing that different wherever you go. Iíd say the tempo is different, but playing tight end is playing tight end.
Q: Does being 6í5 give you any advantage or disadvantage at all?
A: We were just talking about that today Ė I was talking with Matt LaCosse about it. It definitely helps being shorter when youíre doing those lead blocks. Football is a game of leverage; low man is going to win. But like I said, if you can do the right technique, you can get your leverage.
Q: When you came here, did you hear a lot of talk about the running game and improving that?
A: Yeah. They want versatile guys, and I donít think itís just in the tight end room. They want guys that can move around all over the place. Just so youíre not stuck with a vanilla offense, you can change it up. Adding guys that can be versatile is going to help you with that.
Q: When you look at the offense, do you sit there and think Ďam I ever going to catch the ballí?
A: Yeah, itsí a great receiving core. Awesome to be a part of this group. Or just on the offense with them. The tight endís game, youíve got to know your role. When the ball comes, the ball comes type of thing. You just play your role.
Q: Have you been working with TE Evan Engram at all on blocking?
A: Well, first day of pads, so we actually get to break it down a little bit. See how the film looks. On the first day, everyone plays a little higher because youíre getting used to it. So, weíll see what the film looks like.
Q: Whatís your best advice to a young guy like him?
A: For Evan, he doesnít seem like he needs a lot of advice. He came in, heís been working hard since the day he got here and heís open to anything. Heís willing to block, willing to do it from the back field, in line, willing to line up on the outside. So, heís got the right mindset, and all I would tell him is keep that up because itís awesome to see that.
Q: When you played against the Giants last year, did it cross your mind that this could be a destination for you?
A: I mean itís probably not at that moment when youíre playing somebody. But, that off season prior to my first free agency, they did reach out and talk to me so I knew there was interest, but nothing happened. So, at the time, no I didnít think it would happen.
Q: When youíre facing them, were there things that attracted you about this situation?
A: Yeah, I like the defense. Iíve always respected Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon and those guys. Itís always fun to practice against guys like that because those are two of the best guys in the league and theyíre going to make you better every day. Just an opportunity to play against those guys and sharpen your tools, itís an awesome opportunity.
Q: How good do you think you are at in-line blocking and where do you think you stand in the rest of the league?
A: Thatís more for scouts and whoever grades that stuff. For me, itís just keeping it simple, trying to be consistent, just doing my job consistently. Iím not trying to do anything crazy, but just executing and being consistent about it. Thatís kind of the name of the game at every position.
Q: Did you ever feel you could be a dominant player doing what youíre asked to do on the line?
A: It just depends on the situation. Thereís certain defenses that you want to run more tight ends with, thereís certain defenses where you donít. Itís all very situational; football is a very situational game.
Q: Where do you think you can contribute the most?
A: Thatís a question for (Ben) McAdoo. Heís the one thatís going to schematically put me where he wants to put me. So, my job is just to do what he tells me to do.
Q: Does size help in the red zone?
A: I think so, but not necessarily. You can have smaller receivers that can be dangerous down there. Like I said, itís all about matchups, itís all about situations and stuff like that.