Center Nick Gates
August 15, 2021
Q: How valuable was it to get the starters out there last night and get some reps? How do you guys think it went overall?
A: It was good to be back out there and playing a game and facing other people than your own team. There are some good things and there’s some bad things, but we definitely have a little bit of ways to go before we're in mid-season form.
Q: Obviously, last year you didn't have those preseason games. How much value can you get out of these three games?
A: I think the preseason games are huge for us, especially as a young offensive line. It gets us reps, it gets us going against pass rushers and run stoppers. I think it's just good to get out there and play games.
Q: What is your personal review of how you guys did in those three series’?
A: There were some good things, there were some bad things. I watched a little of my film late last night. I didn't get into detail of that yet, but, from a first look, there was good and there was bad. There’s dozens of things that we need to clean up and things we need to do better, but there's definitely some things we did a lot better than we did last year.
Q: Does it tick you off when you guys don't go for those fourth and shorts in enemy territory? It looked like you fired the ball back at the ref there.
A: I always do that. I always pick the ball up and throw it back to the ref. That's what (Head Coach Joe) Judge called and that's the play call, and I'm not going to go against it or argue it. It is what it is. I just always seem to pick the ball up and just throw it back to the ref, so I don't know. It’s just a habit.
Q: A question about communication and just integrating new guys as they come in. Coach was saying before that he’ll probably have to look at bringing in some new guys, due to the injuries and whatnot. How do you guys approach integrating these guys that come in who haven't been with you all spring and the first part of summer, and get them up to speed in terms of the communication, especially the nonverbal communication?
A: I think we tend to bring in the older vet guys when it’s mid-camp just because they have experience. They understand how it is and how everything is done. The signing becomes a little easier when it comes to that aspect instead of bringing in a rookie. It’s really kind of on them to get into their playbook and just understand the basics of how the offense works and how everything is run. I think I do a pretty good job with communication and getting everybody on the same page, so I think it's not too hard for them to come in and do well.
Q: Do you think it will be important for you guys to punch one in during the preseason? Does that matter? I’m just wondering maybe to get the taste of last year out of your mouth, do you guys have to punch one in and score some points in the preseason, or is it all about progression and progress?
A: We obviously want to score whenever you have the ball on offense. I think it’s always fun to score, that's the best part about being on offense. You get to score the ball and you get down there and celebrate with your team. I think it's a little bit of both, just being able to progress and see how the offense runs and how we do everything together, I think it's good both ways. You definitely want to score. I mean, you’ve got to score to win the game. If you don’t score, you can't win the game. So yeah, you always want to score.