TE Evan Engram -- August 1, 2019
Q: On the offensive line and the run game:
A: Being next to the O-line, youíve got to bring it as well because theyíve been working their butts off, theyíve been pushing each other to work on the small things, and to be in sync with them to get the run game going.
Q: Is it exciting? I know you do a lot of work on your blocking in the offseason and the spring, but now that you actually have pads on, you can do it. Are you seeing the results of what youíve worked on in the spring now that youíre able to do it against live contact?
A: Absolutely. LDub (TE Coach Lunda Wells) does a great job with us, working on our techniques throughout the spring and kind of getting our mind right on the good technique and things. When the pads come on, you get to really work it, and you get the film to break down and fix those mistakes. I was honestly thinking about this the other day, weíve come so far just with the little things in the blocking game, and thatís a credit to our coach. Heís been really on us hard, and we take pride in blocking, and when the pads come on weíre definitely taking care of each other, but weíre definitely competing.
Q: Do you sense a difference on tape too, having two new veterans on the offensive line--(Mike) Remmers and (Kevin) Zeitler--and how will you guys kind of work together?
A: Yes, you can just see the chemistry theyíre building, and itís not even on the field. Theyíre always together in the weight room, and the meeting rooms, and the facility, and when on the field comes on, itís all business. When you see them working, you see them getting better at things, and you see them competing, that definitely adds to our team when weíre working.
Q: Evan, youíve been around a little while now, do you notice a little more zip on Eliís passes this year?
A: Definitely. Eli looks really good. Like I said, itís the big pictureóyouíve got guys up front competing their butts off, and protecting, and giving Eli time. Heís able to sit back there and be comfortable and make those reads and make the proper throws. Heís been slinging the ball around a lot, and thereís a lot of velocity, and he still has his touch. Heís Eli, heís been making great throws for years, but definitely you can see his confidence, and you can see his confidence really growing this camp.
Q: Evan, talk about Jabrill Peppers and going against him in practice. What kind of player is he, is he a tough matchup?
A: From day one since Peppers got here, I love competing with him. Itís going to make me better, itís going to make our tight end room better, and the rest of the guys on offense. He just flies around, he plays aggressive, heís real patient when playing his man. Youíve got to be physical, heís a real strong, low to the ground player. Having him, competing against him each and every day, and having his aggressiveness. He likes to talk, and he gets the defense going, he plays with a chip on his shoulder. Thatís going to help the guys around him on that side of the ball, and itís obviously going to help us as well, competing against that.
Q: When you look at his coverage skills, how does it compare with some of the other cover safeties youíve gone against in your first two years in the league?
A: Heís real patient. You get pads on and you get in the speed of the gameóas a receiver, you want to work releases, you want to give double moves to kind of create separation with him. You have to be really deliberate with those moves. Heís real patient, he doesnít really bite. Heís really aggressive and he plays as a strong player, but youíve got to really work on your craft with him. Thatís definitely going to pay off when it comes to playing against other guys, and itís definitely going to help him, and itís going to help us with him playing on defense and going against that competition as well.
Q: Pat Shurmur talked about a couple injuries that you had suffered last year, and so what are you looking to expect on the field this season?
A: I want to play 16 games. Thatís kind of my mindset coming into this year. Thereís definitely a responsibility off the field I have to take to make that happen. Obviously, you have injuries that you canít control, and stuff happens on the football field, but thereís also things you can control to keep your body in proper shape, and stay healthy and stuff like that. Thatís kind of my motto this year, 16 games, and I know what it takes to do that, and itís going to be up to me to get that done.