TE Evan Engram
August 18, 2017
Q: What do you want to accomplish Monday night against the Browns?
A: I just want to accomplish the game plan. Go out and play fast, make some plays and just do everything I can to put the team and the offense in position to do really well.
Q: Do you feel as if any excitement, nerves, anxiety that you had for the first game will be gone for the second one?
A: No. Itís still going to be kind of nerve-wracking and exciting. Iím really pumped about it. It was a really cool feeling out there, getting out there and having your uniform on and being out there warming up. It kind of really hit me in that moment and I donít think itís ever going to go away. Iím really excited, I canít wait for Monday night. I think it adds to my game, the eagerness to do well and get out there and run around to make plays. I think all that adds into my performance.
Q: Even though some guys like to be calmed down before a game, you like to be amped up?
A: Actually, Iím pretty calm. I stay pretty calm and kind of stay locked in and keep to myself. And then once that first catch, or once that first hit comes, then everything kind of just unwinds. Iím not really rowdy or go crazy or anything, Iím really kind of calm and under control. But, thereís some nerves built up. So, the first couple of plays, I get that all out the system.
Q: How advantageous is it for you that you are immediately thrown into a position battle and not automatically the starter?
A: I mean, competition makes everybody better. And itís not like weíre going up against each other, weíre in that room making each other better. We correct each other or we help each other. Thereís a lot of time in our tight end room and we come out here ready to work every day. So, it definitely, I think, is an advantage for me as a young guy to come in and learn from these guys that have been here and have been playing for a while. So, itís a huge advantage and it makes us a lot better.
Q: What kind of lessons can you take from a veteran like Rhett Ellison?
A: Oh man, he does so much stuff. He has so many vet moves on film that just show up and even in-person. You all may not see it on the field, but on the film heís really savvy with his blocking and heís really good in the pass game as well. Heís real savvy with his routes and can stop on a dime. So, just picking up little moves like that. When you get a couple years in, you pick up things and you learn. So, Iím definitely taking advantage of the stuff that he puts on film and the stuff he kind of introduces to me. Blocking, or even with releases and even in the routes.
Q: What did you learn in the first preseason game against the Steelers?
A: I had to lock in. Just being out there, I was kind of wide-eyed and a little nervous. So, being in the huddle, I kind of had to slow down, lock in, hear the play call, get to the line. Just kind of slow everything down. In practice, we go through reads and just do all my stuff I usually do. But in the game, sometimes those nerves will build up, especially being a rookie and your first time out there, definitely stuff flies over your head. So, just kind of just slowing everything down, locking in, get back to what youíve been doing. Thatís probably the biggest thing Iíve taken away.
Q: Why was the first preseason game different for you, having played in big stadiums and in front of big crowds in college?
A: I mean, it was a different uniform. In college we never stood out there for the national anthem, we were always in the locker room. I donít know, just the atmosphere and realizing that we have an NFL shield on our jersey and an ĎNYí on our helmets. So, that just raised the level. Playing a great team in Pittsburgh, I grew up watching all these teams and watching guys who weíre going up against and Iím out there on the field with them. So, itís definitely just a different level, emotionally and physically and xís and oís, itís just a whole other level.
Q: Do you think that playing in the SEC in college prepared you for playing in the NFL?
A: Oh, definitely. There was a lot of speed in our conference and a lot of players from our conference end up at this level. So, definitely playing that talent and seeing different great talents each week, week in and week out, definitely helped prepare me for the speed and the physicality of this level.