TE Evan Engram -- August 19, 2019
Q: How have you been dealing with the inactivity on gameday so far?
A: Yeah, itís been a little different (than) the past two years. Usually I get some time, but Iím trying to do my part preparing mentally, (and) preparing physically each and every week like I am playing. Iím going through all of the motions and treating it as if I am playing. Thatís probably the most important thing, is being mentally prepared. Iím trying to put myself in those situations.
Q: It seems like even going back to the spring theyíve been pretty cautious with you. Is that something they spoke to you about? Obviously, you are an important part of the team.
A: Yeah, itís just being smart. Obviously, I have to do my part as well. Taking care of my body and making sure Iím healthy and doing everything in my part. They are kind of easing me into things and allowing me to work up to the heavy workloads.
Q: Are you frustrated about that or do you see that as a badge of honor, them saying, Ďwe know what you got, and you donít have to play in the preseason?í
A: I come into work each and every day ready to prove myself. Iím trying to make this team like everybody else. Like I said, itís being smart and being cautious with things, but also, itís more on my part to prepare mentally, prepare physically, and come out here and compete with the rest of the guys.
Q: Youíve been in the league a few years. Can you quantify what preseason snaps are in terms of value at all?
A: Itís football. Like I said, you have guys out here who are trying to make the team and trying to make a career of being on the field. You have guys out there fighting just as much as they are going to be fighting in Week One, Week Two, and the regular season. Itís a lot more guys, (and) a lot more guys getting opportunities. Itís definitely a really important part of getting mentally prepared, especially with week one getting closer each day. Itís important. Preseason is important. People think itís just scrimmaging and it doesnít matteró but there are a lot of guys that have a lot on the line that we have to work with and help put into positions to make plays and do well and give them the best shot.
Q: You always talk about working on your blocking. In what ways do you feel you have developed from a year ago to today?
A: Itís crazy. Itís crazy how much better I have gotten at the blocking game. Credit to (Tight Ends Coach) Coach Wells and my teammates. I was talking with one of my family members about how my blocking game has evolved playing with Rhett (Ellison). Watching him each and every day, and working alongside him, itís added a lot to my plate in the blocking game. With the steps, itís the small details. Iíve always kind of had the punch, Iíve always had the heart to get in there and fight, but itís been a lot of details. I really feel like Iíve taken my game to another level in that aspect, just through the coaching and playing with the guys.
Q: Coach Shurmur said it feels like you have a more defined role this season than last year in the offense. Do you feel that?
A: You guys ask that question a lot. Everybody has a lot on their plate, everybody is going to get a bigger opportunity this year within the offense. Like I said, itís my part, itís my job to come here each and every day to get ready for when those times come and when my number is called. I think the tight ends alone have a lot on their plate within this offense. We have a lot to learn and we have a lot to know. Weíre going to have a lot of opportunity to make plays and make this offense a lot better.
Q: When you were drafted, there were a lot of people who said this guy is the next (Mark) Bavaro, the next (Jeremy) Shockey, the next whatever? Do you feel like youíre getting closer to becoming that guy? The guy who can hit the seam and go deep and things like that?
A: I love those guys, and I love being compared to those guys. Iíve seen film and Iíve watched all the greats, and I have definitely learned a lot. I come up here each and every day to be the best Evan Engram I can be. As long as I take care of my body, as long as I get in the playbook, as long as I watch film and put the work in on the field, when the opportunity comes to make those plays, Iíll be getting comparisons, people will be comparing people to me. Itís a mindset to come in here and be the best that I can be, and thatís going to help my team be the best team it can be. At the end of the day, itís football, and me putting the work in and making plays when they come.
Q: Whatís it been like working with Eli so far at camp?
A: Eliís been really great. Heís been spinning the ball around, the protection has been really well, heís been making the reads, picking up the blitzóitís what Eli does. I think heís had a great offseason, a great camp, and heís going to go into the season with a lot more momentum.
Q: Coach said there are a lot of advantages to working in the heat getting ready for the beginning of the season and playing in some hot games. How do you feel about that?
A: Itís a mindset. Itís a tough mindset. It can beat you before you even step outside, or you can embrace it and come out there and put the work in. I think itís good we are getting outside. I think itís good that itís hot and humid. Weíre getting out there early, putting the work in with the sun, and itís going to build us for the season.