G Will Hernandez
July 28, 2021
Q: How does it feel being out there again?
A: I love it. You know, I missed it and I felt great. Had a lot of fun with the guys. Went out there, worked on a lot of things I’ve been wanting to work on, and it was overall great to be back out there and getting back to work.
Q: Talk about the transition to the right side.
A: Yeah, I mean it’s basically just a flip flop thing. You do everything that you do on the left side, do it on the right. Everything’s universal, it’s not as hard as people sometimes make it seem. Transition’s a transition, it’s different, but for me I feel it smoothly and I’m going to give it my all.
Q: Did you do anything special? You look trimmer and like you added some bulk. Did you do anything to prep for the transition to be more versatile?
A: Appreciate that, you’re the first one that noticed. But yeah, I did up my training, a lot more intensity, a lot more conditioning. Just did different things than I did in the past. There was a famous saying from my strength coach that stuck with me all offseason, ‘You always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got.’ So, I did a lot of things differently, ate different, I worked out different. At the end of the day, I still trained for football, still going out there and practicing the craft, just starting on the other side and that’s about it.
Q: Did you want to do that or did somebody tell you to do that or did you just look at the film and say “Okay, I’ve got to do something different.”
A: I guess you could say it’s both. Me, the coaches, other players, my teammates, we all talked a little bit. I hear everybody out, but at the end of the day, this is what I want to do and that’s where I want to be.
Q: When is the last time you played on the right side?
A: I guess you could say high school. I played right guard all throughout high school and I did get switched out a little bit in college as well. [Former UTEP Head Coach Sean] Kugler had me playing both sides just in case. I guess you could say I played right guard all my life, just not as much in my recent years.
Q: At any point in the spring did you run out there onto the left side from muscle memory. If you were supposed to go to the right but went to the left by mistake.
A: Oh, no, that didn’t happen. Once I get locked in on right, I’m right. But yeah, I am ready just in case I ever get called back to the left, back to the right. That’s the cool thing about playing both sides now, I can kind of transition a little bit easier.
Q: Can you talk about the benefit that you got from working with the Duke Manyweather group you worked with this offseason
A: Yeah, I think one of the best things about working out there is that you’re with a bunch of guys around the league. So, you can learn a lot, you can also compete a lot. You’ve got guys that are there with the same goals, with the same intentions, working hard. So, it kind of pushes you naturally instead of just working out by yourself which I did in my previous years. The best part about it is the comradery and the competition that it builds because all the guys are there doing the same thing.
Q: Can you tell us how much weight you lost?
A: I think around like 20 pounds, something like that.
Q: So, what are you now?
A: I mean it’s not focused too much on the weight because I did lose body fat and gain muscle. All of that comes into play, it’s not just a straight weight thing, but around there, 20 pounds.
Q: You went through a rough year last year between COVID and I think I heard you had an injury that you were dealing, so you had a lot of things going against you. What has that taught you about yourself? How are you applying those lessons this year and showing everybody that you are worthy to be out here?
A: Sometimes there are things that happen to you that you just can’t control and that was one of them for me. I didn’t like it at all, but I had to deal with it and all that time that I missed because of it has just taught me how much more important the time that I have now is. So now I try not to waste any reps, waste any time. I try to do everything even better than I did before because I value that time a lot more because I had to sit out.
Q: Do you feel 100 percent coming back even after being on the COVID list?
A: At all times, I was ready to play. There’s just some things that you just can’t tell whether you’re good or bad until after the fact or until time passes. I couldn’t really give you an answer on that, but I was always ready to go in and play if I need to.
Q: What makes [Defensive Line] Leonard Williams so difficult to block?
A: Leonard Williams, I would say he has everything. He has speed, he has the agility, he has the strength, he has the size and for a guy his size, he moves very well. So, I mean when you put all those together, that makes him very dangerous.
Q: When you have all those things going, the negativity and all the stuff that was going on, did you ever say, “Why me?” Or did you have somebody kind of keeping you from hitting the emotional rock bottom, so to speak.
A: No, no, never that ‘why me’ mentality or that victim mentality. I wasn’t raised that way at all. You deal with what’s happening, you can’t control it, you can’t control it. Did I like it? No. It was never ‘poor me.’ I always just said, ‘whenever my time comes, I’m going to make sure I take advantage of it,’ and that’s what I’m doing now.
Q: How beneficial will it be to have joint practices and preseason games as you transition into a new position?
A: I think it’s going to be great competition. Like I kind of said with the Duke Manyweather training, it kind of brings out a little bit more out of everybody and it gives you that competition and it actually makes you step up your game. It’s the same concept, we’re going to step up our game, we’re going to want to have good practices against them, we’re going to want to win every day against every team. So naturally it’s just going to make us better.
Q: With this being day one and a fresh start, as the Offensive Line unit, what’s the mindset on [Quarterback] Daniel Jones taking his next step and weapons like [Wide Receiver Kenny] Golladay. What the focus you are wanting to start off with this season?
A: Our focus right now is just to get better overall as a team. I’m going to let those guys take care of their own position and their own jobs. Starting with the offensive line, all we’ve got to do is just need to block better and give those guys a chance and get those guys some points.
Q; With the restrictions against those that are not vaccinated, is there more incentive this year than ever before to get vaccinated?
A: I’m the last person that gets to talk about vaccination. I decided to get mine, I respect the decision of any of my teammates and any of my coaches that they decided to get theirs or not. I’m nobody to judge and we’re just going to leave it at that.
Q; Was your head spinning a little bit after last year? You got the virus, you came back, you lost your job. Were you sitting there asking “What happened to me?”
A: No, that’s one thing about me. I always had confidence in myself and I know what I’ve always been able to do and what I can do. I have the same mentality now. Now I just get the chance to actually show it.