TE Evan Engram
November 23, 2020
Q: I know you don’t play offensive line, but given what happened last week and what we all reported on that situation with Joe Judge firing Marc Colombo, how do you as a player and how do you guys as a team react to that?
A: Yeah, that entire situation is definitely above my pay grade. As a player and as a team, we know that with Coach Judge, every decision he makes is in the best interest of the team. I know me personally and a lot of guys loved working with Coach Colombo and obviously wish him the best. But like I said, that’s the thing with Coach Judge. His best interest is always with the team.
Q: Did you watch the games, the Washington, Dallas and Philadelphia games, yesterday? What is your reaction to looking at the standings right now and seeing everybody has three wins and it’s kind of a sprint to the finish here?
A: I had the little Red Zone channel on yesterday, going back and forth from all the games. I definitely had my eye on the division guys. Yeah, it’s a unique opportunity for us. The focus is on getting better each and every day and attacking each day and preparing ourselves for that game each week coming up. Yeah, it’s a lot of meaningful football for us. We’re heading into it with the right mindset, getting ready for it.
Q: What is that change? You haven’t really played any meaningful football games in your three-year NFL career here. What’s the difference right now versus what you’re usually feeling on November 23rd?
A: It’s definitely, like I said, a unique opportunity. It’s even more unique coming off a bye week and having that motivation and having that sense of urgency and opportunity that’s ahead of us is different. I know as a team, we’re really looking forward to it. It’s definitely going to push us to work even harder, even coming off a bye week when we kind of got away from it for a little bit.
Q: Are you interested to see how you and your teammates respond to big games in November? A lot of times at this part of the year, especially if you’re 3-7, there are individual goals, you still want to win but there is no playoff carrot out there. This antes it up for everybody, doesn’t it?
A: Yeah, definitely. Like I said, when it’s meaningful football and the playoffs are involved, everybody’s, like I said, sense or urgency goes up. For me, it’s different being here the last three years in the situations that we’ve been in. I know it’s different for a lot of the young guys that are here that are just coming into the league and getting their opportunity to play meaningful football. Like I said, our motivation right now is getting better each and every day and attacking each opportunity going into the week, like we have now going against Cincinnati. But it is a special opportunity that a lot of guys are ready for.
Q: Did you take an opportunity, advantage of this little break to kind of look back at your first 10 games, look at what you did well, what you didn’t do well, and kind of reassess? If so, what did you see and is your head more clear moving forward maybe?
A: Yeah, that’s always kind of been the way I approach the bye week. Just kind of early on in the break, breaking down the first half of the year, or the first 10 games, seeing things that I’ve improved on, seeing the things I need to continue to improve on. For me, it’s the small things. It’s blocking technique, it’s little things I’ve seen that I’ve gotten better at. Then there are things, like ball security and even staying more consistent in the blocking game, that I need to continue to get better at going forward. A lot of small things that I’m always trying to work on. I always kind of evaluate myself before the bye week.
Q: You guys have had some guys test positive for COVID. Some star players around the league like Myles Garrett had to sit out. 10 weeks into this thing, how much of a distraction has this been? How different has this been for you? How has it changed your preparation week to week?
A: This year has been different in all phases for everybody. Just the possibility of catching COVID, when you have guys test positive, it’s definitely some adversity and it’s a hurdle we have to overcome as an individual and as a team. There’s a lot of things that we deal with during the football season and obviously having these circumstances is a new one this year. I think we do a good job of kind of working through the adversity. I’m keeping my mind focused on what’s ahead of us and that’s opportunity of attacking and playing that game that Sunday.
Q: With Thanksgiving being this week I know a lot of you guys have family coming to town. From your perspective, have you had a change in your plans? What will you do this year based on the guidelines and restrictions that are out there? Are you able to bring some family and friends up to enjoy the holiday with you?
A: I think this year is definitely different for me just because my family knows what’s at stake. My family is really tuned into how strict we have to be, and I have to be. From my availability and being safe from the virus and stuff. They kind of understand that this is a different year of taking visits up here and coming to see me. My family, they get up here any time they can in the past years. They understand this year is kind of different. This year I might just be by my lonesome on Thanksgiving. I know we will probably have a FaceTime reunion or something. Like I said, they understand the circumstances.
Q: As a tight end, how much do you guys actually work with the offensive line coach?
A: In practice, there is individual periods where we work combo stuff with the tackles. Small running game things in some of the run schemes that we do have to work with them. A lot of it is kind of working on our steps. Knowing what the goal is for the type of scheme or type that we’re running and kind of get to our aiming point. There are times in practice that we work with the tackles.
Q: How much different was the technique stuff that you learned this year compared to years past or was it?
A: It’s not really that much different. We have some different run game stuff in. Terminology and definitely new coaches that coach it a different way. It’s kind of all really the same.
Q: Aside from winning games. What do you think this team needs to do in order to be able to say at the end okay we’re going to be able to win this division?
A: I think it’s just attacking the moment we’re in right now. Not look ahead, not worry about what is going on in the other games and the other teams. Kind of just letting everything play out. For us, worry about what’s on our plate and the opportunity we have in front of us in that moment and in that week.