TE Evan Engram
September 11, 2020
Q: What’s the mood of the team right now? You’re a couple of days away from the opener. Is there excitement? Do you guys feel like you’re ready for this?
A: Definitely. Before I answer that question, today is a real important day in our history, especially in this area. 9/11 was a terrible tragedy that happened in our country, and a lot of lives were lost. I think it’s important that we remember those lives, remember the heroes during this day 19 years ago. I’ll forever offer and give my condolences and prayers to the families and people involved in this tragedy years ago today. But as a team, we’re really excited to get back on Monday night primetime. It really doesn’t get any better than that to start off the year. We’re practicing really well this week, really hard, preparing for the big game.
Q: What can you do as a tight end, Andrew Thomas is probably going to be lined up at left tackle as a rookie starter, what can you do as a tight end when you’re next to him to help him?
A: Communicate. That’s the biggest thing, especially with… I remember my rookie debut. It was definitely butterflies and eyes flying around everywhere. It’s normal to feel that. He’ll definitely have some nerves, but I think just communicating, being on the same page, and being successful and physical with him in the run game, and give him confidence in moving the ball down field to kind of get him in a groove. We plan on doing that as an offense, and we’re going to plan on doing that all together Monday.
Q: I was wondering, as Saquon (Barkley) was talking yesterday, saying the team was going to get together and talk about how they want to approach things like the anthem and things like that, I was wondering if you can fill us in on if you made any decisions?
A: Honestly, that’s definitely in-house right now. We’re keeping that in-house between the team. It’s definitely an important subject, but right now, we’re focused on this game. Those discussions are being had, but it’s definitely going to stay in-house.
Q: Just curious, did you get a chance to watch much of the game last night at all?
A: Yeah, I got about a quarter in, the first quarter, then I shut it down.
Q: The reason I was asking was just it seemed like the perception was that it was not as sloppy as people thought. With how the offseason went and the way you kind of had to restrict training camp, no preseason games, there was a thought that early on in the season, the quality of football would not be where it was. I was just curious if you saw something early on in that game last night and maybe it took you back a little bit and said ‘you know what? Maybe it’s not going to be as sloppy as people might think. We have to really zero in on making sure we get everything right because we know this quality could actually be there on the field right from the jump’?
A: That definitely is a perception going into it, not really having any live preseason games to kind of get that feel and iron out some things. But I think it’s going to be on us. It’s going to be on execution and our attention to detail and how fast we come out. It’s definitely not something that we’re expecting on either side of the ball. We’re expecting the Steelers to come out very sharp, fresh and ready to go. We have to do that ourselves as well.