G Will Hernandez
November 18, 2020
Q: First question is kind of an obvious one. How are you feeling? How was everything you went through with COVID?
A: Yeah, it was definitely a different experience, one I had never really experienced before. It was weird. But just like everything else, we got through it and I feel great now. I’m good. I’m ready to roll.
Q: Were you sick at all? Did you have symptoms?
A: Yeah, I went through the standard sickness and all that. At the end of the day, I just kind of got over it and I feel good as new.
Q: One last thing. What did you do during those two weeks? You were kind of holed up, right?
A: Just quarantined and self-isolated. I didn’t really do much. I don’t have any crazy stories for you. I think the craziest story I could give you is I went on a drive or something.
Q: Just to get out of the house?
A: Yeah, just around the house. I think the most I was able to do is go on the Zoom meetings, so that took up a lot of time during the day so that was good. But other than that, just did what I could here as far as working out and trying to stay in shape in the house. Just kind of watched a lot of TV.
Q: That’s kind of an unfortunate way for your 3,000-snap streak or whatever it was, 2,500-snap streak to be stolen from you. As a guy that likes to play every snap, was that frustrating?
A: Of course, of course. Being reliable is one of the things I’ve always wanted to do and always wanted to excel in. Just having the coaches and the team know that they can rely on me for whatever it is, that’s something I’ve always taken a lot of pride in. But things happen. Life happens. What are we going to do at this point? Yeah, I was definitely upset. It means a lot to me. But I’m good.
Q: Take me back to this past Sunday. I guess you’re standing on the sideline probably chomping at the bit. I don’t know if you thought you would play earlier or if you knew you would only go in in an emergency, but what was your role going to be this past Sunday? Then when (Kevin) Zeitler gets hurt, you have to flip the on-switch right away I guess.
A: The training staff was being very careful with me, especially dealing with a virus that we know little about. They told me from the beginning that they were going to ease me into this. They didn’t know exactly how much it was going to be, what I was going to play, how much. But at the end of the day here, we have to remember this is a team. This is about the team, not about Will Hernandez. If I wasn’t 100 percent ready to go coming back from this, then what’s best for the team here? We just need to remember that. Coming back from two weeks of doing nothing, and not by choice but doing nothing, you have to kind of think about is he ready to just get back in there and play? But I was always ready to go, I was always ready to play. I wanted to play, obviously. You guys know me by now. But at the end of the day, I’m just going to follow what the coaches are telling me and what the medical staff says.
Q: Did they ever figure out how you got it?
A: Oh come on man. Nobody knows how, nobody knows how. It could have been a thousand different ways. We can’t figure it out. I have no idea how. I just did. They say you can get it just from breathing, so there you go. I don’t know. I wouldn’t know what to tell you on that one.
Q: I assume you’ve had a ton of coaches in your career. When you look at Joe Judge, what stands out about him?
A: This is definitely a coach that wants to win and puts the team first, and always does what’s best for everybody. You can definitely get behind a guy like that. I really like how he’s very attention to detail. I’m pretty sure everyone has seen by now, he’s very, very hard on the big things, the main things, and also the little things just as much. I think that’s what it takes exactly to be a great team and have a great team. It’s always great having somebody that can always remind you of those little things because sometimes you get caught up in all this, and it’s always great to have a coach that can see all these little things consistently.
Q: Did you realize, and I know watching when Zeitler came out, how did you know it was your turn to go in? Did you see him come out and knew right away that it was time for you to run in? What was that like? What were the emotions involved in, I know you’re going to do a job but I have to imagine the anticipation was kind of building up the entire time?
A: I knew that if a guard were to go down, I’m going in. I saw him going out, and obviously yeah, I was excited to get back in there after so long. It’s horrible seeing one of your boys come out of the game like that, but yeah, when my number was called, I was ready to go. It definitely was exciting to get back in there with the guys.
Q: Did you see him come out and knew to go right in or did someone have to tell you to get in there?
A: I didn’t see it right away, like as soon as it happened. But as soon as he started coming off, that’s one thing we do a really good job of. Everybody is always just hollering out ‘hey, we need a guard we need a guard!’ As soon as I heard the first guard, I knew I was going in.
Q: I would think that the only thing that’s scarier than getting that positive test result a couple weeks back is wondering if you’re going to be the guy that kind of topples the whole house of cards there that the team has built keeping this virus away from everybody. How nerve-racking was it waiting for other people’s negatives to come back? What was that period like for you?
A: Obviously, that’s one thing you don’t… it already sucks enough that you get it as an individual. But to know that you infected other people, that’s probably the worst feeling about it. That’s something I definitely did not want to happen and I’m glad it didn’t.