Center Nick Gates
August 6, 2021
Q: You’re not retiring, are you?
A: No, not yet.
Q: What do you make of all that?
A: It’s personal things, I get it. When you’re a nine, ten-year guy, you know, when there’s personal reasons. I wish him the best and he’s a good guy and we’ll see. I mean I know (Head Coach Joe) Judge said he’s welcome back whenever under the circumstance.
Q: Is it, as a teammate, unsettling not knowing who’s going to be there to your right or left when these things happen like it’s going to happen again tomorrow?
A: You can’t really worry about that. You’ve just got to take each day as it is and keep moving forward and we’re here. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do, just play football. It’s a business, usually. Guys get in and out usually and sometimes you don’t really know who you’re going to play next to.
Q: I know the five starters are young guys, 24 or younger. You guys are kind of counting on the older guys who are the backups to provide some leadership experience, answer some questions and suddenly, they’re all leaving. What do you guys do there?
A: We’re a young group, but I think the young guys have got to step up and be leaders and just got to take care of each other and keep coming to work every day and working. Young guys have just got to step up, that’s all it is.
Q: How do you like the progress of the offense so far?
A: We’re doing good. We have a long way to go, and we have what, four more weeks of camp or something like that? Hopefully, we can get that right. I like our offense.
Q: What did you think when (Guard) Shane (Lemieux) got carted off?
A: It was scary. Luckily, it wasn’t anything major and he can come back hopefully in a couple more days. I was worried there for a little bit, but I’m glad he’s alright.
Q: You see a guy go off like that, they usually don’t come back.
A: Yeah, usually.
Q: Does it seem odd that they make everyone wear knee braces and he gets a knee injury?
A: Yeah, I mean, knee braces don’t protect against everything. It’s kind of like a safety thing, just kind of help the guys just in case, you know. It happens, I’ve seen it in college, we had to wear knee braces all the time and guys still get ACLs and stuff like that.
Q: A bunch of receivers met up with (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones) throughout the offseason in a couple of different places and if I’m not wrong, you and maybe (Guard) Will Hernandez and a couple offensive linemen joined the party at one time.
A: Yeah, there was about, I think, five of us down in Scottsdale, Arizona. It was like (Tackle Andrew) Drew (Thomas), (Guard) Shane (Lemieux), (Guard) Will (Hernandez), me, (Guard) Chad (Slade), (Tackle) Matt (Peart) and I think I might be missing one, but yeah.
Q: But why? You guys aren’t running routes or blocking anybody.
A: It doesn’t matter, just team comradery, you know, chemistry. It’s good to get out and have a good time with the guys and we went and worked, but there’s still an aspect to going and having fun with the guys and just bonding and stuff like that and being around each other.
Q: What was it like filling in at guard today?
A: I like guard, I’ve always liked guard. It’s like a natural thing, so I enjoy it.
Q: How does the o-line react to a day like today where practice is kind of sloppy, false starts, etc.? How do you guys regroup from that? I know it’s only one day of camp.
A: Yeah, it wasn’t good. We’ve got to do a lot better than we did. Some days will be up, some days are going to be down, and you’ve just got to keep an even keel and just keep moving forward.
Q: Has it gotten to the point in camp yet where you’ve got the first preseason game on your mind or is that still a ways away?
A: That’s still a ways away. I don’t even know. It’s next weekend, right? We’ve still got a ways away. We’ll get there. We’ve still got more things as an offense that we’ve got to install and still trying to get down the exact technique that (Offensive Line) Coach Rob (Sale) wants. We’ve got a little bit of a ways to go before we start thinking about that.
Q: Do you find games and scrimmages are a break from the normal training camp?
A: Definitely. Games, when it comes to games, it’s different. Practice is supposed to be hard and (Head) Coach (Joe) Judge makes it hard for you, so the games are easy when it comes to that.
Q: You haven’t had a scrimmage when you were here, right?
A: Yeah, we scrimmaged last offseason in the stadium, maybe two of them. But we didn’t have any preseason games, so you gotta go live at any chance you can.
Q: But that was obviously amongst yourselves?
Q: When you go to Cleveland and New England, it’s different.
A: Oh, yeah. Definitely. But I like doing that, it makes some good competition, and we’ll see what different guys have and practice your stuff.
Q: What’s different about the technique that you’re trying to get down?
A: Just footwork stuff. Just different ways to block certain plays and if the guy’s in the three-technique, three-tech or, just different ways of moving your feet, but if he’s lined up there and vice versa.
Q: Matching up the technique with how the defense is lined up?
A: Yeah, exactly. Just still learning which play they’re doing, which technique – which footwork. Offensive line technique is kind of…
Q: Do you look forward to the idea of the fans being back in the stands being the center, making the calls? I know you guys played in front of some fans last year on the road, but the idea like on Wednesday night at that Fan Fest, it could be noisy. Is that something that you kind of look forward to, to be able to work that out earlier rather than later?
A: Definitely. I know we’ll probably use that practice before we go down there and we’ll probably have noise and stuff in the speakers and we’ll go out there on a silent count. I think it’ll be good for me to get to do it because I didn’t get to do it last year. But I think it was also nice for me last year to not have fans and us to be able to just talk things out and get comfortable with everybody and now we have the fans, so we’ll do the silent count more as we get used to that.
Q: Was there a time where you had to go to a silent count last year?
A: Nah, not yet. With 25 percent capacity, it wasn’t too loud.