G Kevin Zeitler -- August 18, 2020
Q: What is it like playing for Joe Judge and Marc Colombo, the offensive line coach? What are the defining qualities that you see in them as head and position coaches?
A: I say right off the bat, very detail oriented. They’re keeping us on track, they’re making sure we’re doing the things we need to do and they’re making sure we’re getting better every day. They’re not hoping, they’re making sure.
Q: Andrew Thomas, the rookie. What have you seen from him as far as work ethic and ability that can make him a great offensive lineman?
A: The biggest thing I’d say is, obviously, he’s naturally gifted right off the bat. But the way he approaches every day. He comes in to get better every day, he’s working hard, he’s taking in coach’s advice. Day by day, whether no helmets, helmets, or pads, he’s been getting better.
Q: Offensive linemen generally like continuity, in a perfect world. You are potentially looking at having a different center next to you, a different right tackle. What kind of challenges does that pose for you not knowing who’s going to line up next to you on either side?
A: The way I look at it, the coaches came in and made it very clear, everyone is possible to play any position. We’re going to work hard to put the best five guys out there. The way we look at it, no matter who we play next to in practice, there’s always the possibility that could happen at any given time during a game. It’s great to work with everyone and it’s great to build continuity with everyone so it’s never an issue.
Q: In terms of kind of this weird offseason that you guys went through, you didn’t really have a chance to work together until recently. How is that coming along and how are you expediting that non-verbal communication that’s so important amongst offensive linemen?
A: I think now that we are together, it’s like any other time. We spend a lot of time together, as much as we can, and we just try to get the work in and it will take care of itself.
Q: One of the things we heard in the offseason was that they might cross-train you at center. Is that an option?
A: The way I see it, if coach wants me to, I’ll be ready to go. We’re working hard right now, and whatever happens, happens.
Q: Have you played center before?
A: Back in the day I worked at it. I think I could pick it up if it’s needed.
Q: Can you, on the other side of the ball, speak to what you see in Lorenzo Carter, and just kind of his pass rushing ability? Obviously, being on the other side of the ball from him in practice, what you see and what you see in games?
A: Zo’s a great player. He’s doing a lot of good things here. Just like everyone else, he’s getting better every day. It’ll be a fun battle these next couple weeks.
Q: Do you have any curiosity what year three might be in store for him? He’s kind of been slowly getting better as he’s gone and he’s shown a lot of flashes.
A: Knowing the type of person he is, I can only imagine that he’ll improve. I’m excited to see what happens.
Q: From your experience, we saw some interesting things about practice yesterday. No names on the jerseys, also guys running sprints at the end of practice, players and coaches running laps when they make a mistake during practice. How can those types of strict rules or that kind of regimen mold a team and what’s the proper way to respond to that as a player and as a team?
A: The way I see it, it just goes with Coach Judge’s philosophy. He said we’re going to be detail oriented and there will be consequences for our actions that aren’t good for the team. It’s just a way of playing it through, for players and coaches. We all need to get better every day and there are no exceptions.
Q: How does the offensive line view everything? The offensive line, they’ve been trying to rebuild it here for the past few years. They haven’t gotten it up to the point they’ve wanted to. How much pressure is on you guys to finally get it right? As the offensive line, do you feel that at all?
A: No. The only thing we can worry about right now is coming in every day and getting better. We can’t be thinking down the road about those big picture things. Those will all come to the front when we actually get to games and whatnot. Right now, the only thing we’re worried about is working hard and getting better so we don’t have to have issues.
Q: Is there a big difference in the group this year, at least with the guys that you have? Is there anything noticeably different that you’ve seen or even with the way you guys operate just with the new coaches, new regime, the new program and everything?
A: I think we’re all just hyper-focused right now. We’re all trying to get better. It’s just the group we have. We have guys who want to get better.