Running Back Orleans Darkwa
November 15, 2017
Q: For you personally, how have you been able to get so many yards after contact?
A: I mean, really itís with the line. Once they can get me a hole or something that I can see, I just try to put my head down and get my legs churning. I think thatís something that Iíve tried to pride myself in. Try to get north-south as much as possible, as fast as possible and once thereís a guy that gets his hands on me, just keep your legs churning. So, thatís something Iíve tried to pride myself on and not just me, but all the backs have done a great job with that.
Q: What ways do you feel like youíve improved as a running back just overall this season?
A: Just in all phases that it takes to be a complete back. I feel like Iíve done a great job blocking, you know, catching the ball when needed and just being patient as a runner. Like I said, I try to get north-south as fast as possible, but at the end of the day you got to be able to understand the schemes as far as the run schemes and being in sync with your o-line and like I said, when thereís not a hole there try to create one and minimize the negative yardage.
Q: How would you describe your running style?
A: Just hard-nosed. I feel like I can make people miss when need be, but just more so a north-south guy and try to minimize the negative yardage, get as many yards as I can and go on to the next play.
Q: What can TE Shane Smith add to you on the offense?
A: Oh, man. Heís a Ė especially with the regular and jumbo packages that we have, heís a great guy to, you know, blocking for or that heís blocking for me or blocking for the running backs. Heís a great guy to have in front of me. So, he makes the holes that much clearer and heís excited about this opportunity and he goes out there full head of steam and creates those holes, so happy to have him there.
Q: Whatís it like to have this opportunity?
A: I mean, at the end of the day Iím all about winning. I cherish the opportunity, but at the end of the day, I feel like Iím not doing enough to get the wins on the board. We got to do more as a team to get these wins and I feel like if thereís anything I can do to improve as a back and improve my game to help the team win, thatís what Iím trying to improve.
Q: Have you given much thought to the fact that youíre a free agent after the season and do you want to be here next year?
A: Oh yeah. I mean, definitely. At the end of the day, I donít look towards the future right now. Iím focused on the team right now. I let the future play itself out, but right now Iím focused on the team and getting wins.
Q: What can a player or team in this situation learn from adversity and can there be a benefit to gaining experience?
A: Yeah. I would say so. Obviously, it doesnít get more adverse than this right now. Weíre on a losing streak right now. We havenít been putting a good result out there for the fans. So, this is when you show who the true men are as far as in the locker room, what we have. And, I feel like we got a lot of guys that are willing to fight. Theyíre not going to lay down. You just got to go out there and show it and it just starts with one win. We got one, but we just got to keep trying to build and try to get this second win. We focus on the next game, the next game. So, right now itís just trying to be 1-0.
Q: Can you describe the toss play with TE Shane Smith and what that play entails?
A: Yeah. Shane is leading the way. Ereck Flowers had a great pull to kick out the corner and it was a pretty clean hole. Once you see that hole, you want to hit it as fast as possible because itís going to open and close. As I said, Shane led up and got the secondary defender out of the way. For me, something that I need to improve on is when the safety is right there, try to get the stiff arm right there. I thought I had him, but I tripped on his feet. But, that should have been a touchdown right there, so like I said, I have good runs, but Iím not satisfied. Something I need to improve on and try to, you know, hopefully get Ė thatís something right there that can get points on the board.
Q: Do you just know at some point in the game that youíre going to have a long run?
A: I mean, that goes with being patient really as a back. Everybody wants the big play every down or every carry. Itís not going to happen like that and I guess with my style itís just, you know, you get four yards here, maybe three yards here, but then eventually a big one will happen with consistent carries. So, I think weíve all done a great job with that even Wayne (Gallman) and Shane (Smith) and Perk (Paul Perkins). When they get their opportunities, they make the most of it. So, you know, itís just trying to be consistent, not get frustrated early. Iíve been able to have success running the ball, but at the end of the day itís not going to be sexy all the time. Youíre not going to have the big play all the time. Just got to be consistent. Itíll come.
Q: Is there anything that youíve done this year as far as conditioning to help you stay healthy?
A: I mean, just investing in my body. Iím spending as much money as possible to make sure Iím ready to go. Whether thatís a massage or whatever it is. Stretching. All those types of things. Thatís just something Iíve tried to invest in and continue to do. I think Iíve said it before that Rashad (Jennings) helped me with that. Tell me that your body is your temple man, invest in it as much as possible. So, thatís probably where my money has gone to the most. So, just trying to keep it up.
Q: Do you look at the league leaders in yards-per-carry?
A: Iím not worried about that right now. Iím worried about getting a win, honestly. Let that all play itself out as it does.